IN: A dog alert on a package wasn’t PC because it only proved the package could have been handled by somebody who might have used MJ legally

The state seized cash in a package for mailing for forfeiture and then sought to turn it over to the federal government. The owners sought to recover the cash. The court finds that the seizure of the cash was without probable cause because the dog alert conceivably proved nothing other than that a handler of the package could have used or handled marijuana even legally before the package was shipped. The money is ordered returned. Bowman v. State, 2017 Ind. App. LEXIS 349 (Aug. 16, 2017):
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NC: Question is RS for a traffic violation, not that one actually occurred

Defendant was driving on a snowy evening and pulled out from a traffic light and fishtailed, the rear of his truck heading for a sidewalk, but he regained control without going off the road. The trial court found reasonable suspicion for the stop, and the Court of Appeals reversed. This court finds reasonable suspicion because it was reasonable for the officer to believe that a violation occurred, not that one actually be proved to have occurred. State v. Johnson, 2017 N.C. LEXIS 552 (Aug. 18, 2017), rev’g 784 S.E.2d 633 (N.C. App. 2016):
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NYTimes: Trump Administration Moves to Expand Deportation Dragnet to Jails

NYTimes: Trump Administration Moves to Expand Deportation Dragnet to Jails by Caitlin Dickerson

ABAJ: Plan would designate sheriffs as ICE contractors in bid to bypass Fourth Amendment court decisions By Debra Cassens Weiss

They already are yanking defendants awaiting trial and deporting them without conviction. I’ve had two already. And how is contracting your duty avoiding the Fourth Amendment?

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E.D.Ky.: Basis for traffic stop doesn’t need to be decided where there was independent RS

There’s no point in quibbling here over the basis of the traffic stop because the officer had reasonable suspicion of drug trafficking, too. United States v. Mejia-Palacio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128922 (E.D. Ky. July 25, 2017), adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127851 (E.D. Ky. Aug. 11, 2017).

Defendant was suspected of dealing in firearms without a license. ATF agents went to his house and talked to him, and he had receipts for 93 guns sold in the previous three years. Four were awaiting pickup at a gun dealer. The seizure of the guns from the gun dealer qualified for plain view because their evidentiary value was immediately apparent. United States v. Kennemer, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132433 (D. Ariz. July 14, 2017),* adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131417 (D. Ariz. Aug. 16, 2017).* [How about just “no standing” because he wasn't legally entitled to possession yet?]

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N.D.Ga.: It’s reasonable to infer that def’s shipping firearms to Trinidad would have records in residence and on computers and cell phones there

Defendant was suspected of shipping firearms to Trinidad from Atlanta. “The nature of the criminal conduct in which Defendant was engaged, purchasing firearms for the unlawful export to Trinidad and involving utilizing third parties to make the unlawful firearms purchases and to assist with the unlawful export — all of which required record keeping and communication and coordination with his co-conspirators nearby and in Trinidad — is of the type that it is reasonable to infer that evidence of this activity would be maintained by Defendant in a readily accessible place, that is, his residence. And, due to the need to communicate with individuals in Trinidad, the Magistrate Judge quite reasonably concluded that Defendant did so electronically — either utilizing a telephone or computer. Furthermore, along with drawing his own reasonable inferences regarding where evidence of Defendant’s firearms trafficking and export would be stored, Magistrate Judge Anand was entitled to rely on Affiant’s opinion as to the probable location of this evidence. Affiant, based on his training and experience, opined that individuals engaged in the type of criminal conduct in this case maintained records, ledgers and other documents, such as, money orders and receipts, both on paper and by use of cellular telephones and computers, and that – with respect to the export of firearms – individuals are required by law to maintain records.” United States v. Alfred, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132437 (N.D. Ga. July 18, 2017),* adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131894 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 17, 2017).*

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IL again holds that a second officer running a dog around a car while first officer writes ticket is reasonable because it doesn’t extend the stop

A second officer arrived immediately after defendant’s stop for speeding, and he ran a dog around the car while the first officer wrote out a ticket. This process didn’t extend the stop, and that was reasonable. People v. Pulido, 2017 IL App (3d) 150215, 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 534 (Aug. 16, 2017).

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W.D.Mo.: Motel room was illegally entered, but it was to preserve the scene not search it, so independent source applied to SW

“In this case, the evidence shows that the officers illegally entered the motel room. However, they only secured the room and did not conduct a search until they had a search warrant. The undisputed evidence shows that the warrant was obtained solely based on the information officers had gathered prior to the illegal entry into the room. Nothing from the illegal entry resulted in the application for the warrant, nor did any information obtained from the illegal entry form the probable cause basis for the warrant. Thus, ‘[b]ecause the information used to obtain the search warrant was independent of the illegal entry and the illegal entry did not contribute to the discovery of the evidence seized under the warrant, the evidence should not be suppressed.’ Marts, 986 F.2d at 1221 (citing Murray, 487 U.S. at 537-38). Therefore, Diaz-Ortiz’s Motion should be denied.” United States v. Diaz-Ortiz, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129764 (W.D. Mo. June 7, 2017).*

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E.D.Pa.: Extraterritorial Gmail SW enforced

A search warrant for Google email stored extraterritorially will be enforced. In re Search Warrant No. 16-960-M-1, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131230 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 17, 2017).

The request to search did not come during an unavoidable lull in the traffic stop, and it was unreasonable. State v. Reich, 287 Ore. App. 292, 2017 Ore. App. LEXIS 985 (Aug. 16, 2017).*

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W.D.Wash.: The mosaic theory is rejected as to P2P computer searches

A search warrant is not required before using a P2P child pornography acquiring program Roundup eMule. The mosaic theory is rejected as to P2P computer searches. United States v. Blouin, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129886 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 14, 2017). (The court could have sustained the search in less strident tones.)

A witness on the street already on the phone with 911 provided detailed information that was detailed and essentially corroborated by seeing the defendant. United States v. Timms, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130592 (S.D. N.Y. Aug. 16, 2017).*

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DC Cir.: The mere fact a person has a cell phone isn’t PC to search it; must be PC evidence would be found

“Most of us nowadays carry a cell phone. And our phones frequently contain information chronicling our daily lives—where we go, whom we see, what we say to our friends, and the like. When a person is suspected of a crime, his phone thus can serve as a fruitful source of evidence, especially if he committed the offense in concert with others with whom he might communicate about it. Does this mean that, whenever officers have reason to suspect a person of involvement in a crime, they have probable cause to search his home for cell phones because he might own one and it might contain relevant evidence? That, in essence, is the central issue raised by this case.” And the answer is no. The mere fact a person likely has a cell phone, without more, doesn’t provide probable cause to search it for evidence of crime. The government has to show that the phone has a connection to the crime under investigation. United States v. Griffith, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15636 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 18, 2017):
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