S.D.N.Y.: Two years to search a password protected computer, and more after mistrial, was not unreasonable

The government got a search warrant for defendant’s computer in days, but it took two years to complete the forensic review because of password protection. The two-year delay was thus not unreasonable. After a mistrial, the government kept searching, and that was not unreasonable. Only 13 files were responsive to the warrant. United States v. Shea, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169102 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 19, 2022):

Moreover, Shea has not shown that he was prejudiced by the delay or that the Government intentionally violated Rule 41. See Alston, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63776, 2016 WL 2609521, at *4. The Government found that only thirteen files, totaling forty-seven pages, were responsive to the warrant, and identified those files to Shea on September 2, 2022. Gov. Opp. at 13, 19. Shea has sufficient time to review those files before trial on October 24, 2022. Furthermore, Shea provides no support for his argument that the Government intended to violate Rule 41 in order to retain Shea’s data for some unspecified improper future use. See Shea Mem. II at 6. Rather, the Court concludes that the Government’s actions with respect to the Laptop indicate an understandable attempt to strengthen the evidence it presents at the second trial. Therefore, evidence from the Laptop shall not be suppressed.

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