E.D.Va.: Could have seen for plain view isn’t the same as actually seeing

Defendant did not abandon the vehicle he was driving with permission of the owner. When officers asked for consent he said it wasn’t his and it was his “baby mama’s” vehicle. Her permission gave him standing. The court disagrees with the government’s assertion of plain view. Officers didn’t see anything in plain view until the search was already underway. “The fact that an officer ‘could have seen’ the evidence he unlawfully recovered from a lawful vantage point is not sufficient. … In the instant case, the Government fails to establish that Officer Vanden Berg saw the gun or drugs prior to the vehicle search.” Motion to suppress granted. United States v. Jackson, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208300 (E.D. Va. Nov. 1, 2022).

“Looking at the totality of the circumstances, all of these facts, taken together, create probable cause that controlled substances and related items were in Cantrell’s home.” Cash in the home, no; everything else is probable cause. United States v. Cantrell, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208200 (N.D.W. Va. Nov. 16, 2022).*

Appellant’s belated attempt to unseal the search warrant papers should have been treated as a successor habeas that should have come here. Denied. United States v. Slates, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 31725 (6th Cir. Nov. 16, 2022).*

Defendant’s claim that his prior PO authorized him to have internet accessible devices was rejected because nothing in the current PO’s file even suggests this, assuming defendant to be credible (which the court had to throw in). There was reasonable suspicion for this search. United States v. Keen, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208254 (M.D. Pa. Nov. 16, 2022).*

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