D.Alaska: SW for cell phone was broad; it had to be, but not unreasonably so

The search of defendant’s cell phone did not unreasonably exceed the search warrant for it which was necessarily broad. “As a threshold matter, the search did not exceed the scope of the warrant. Without contesting the validity of the warrant itself, Defendant concedes ‘the warrant authorized the wholesale search of several types of data from [Defendant’s] cell phone including messages, multimedia files, web browser and internet files.’ To this point, the Ninth Circuit has recognized that, ‘[b]ecause seizable materials are seldom found neatly separated from their non-seizable counterparts,’ it is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment to authorize a wholesale seizure if the supporting affidavit explains why such a seizure is necessary. Here, the supporting affidavit explains that people carry and use cell phones before, during, and after the commission of crimes; the data streams left behind from the cell phone usage can include ‘GPS locations, contact lists, e-mails, SIMS cards, pictures, videos or audio files, and electronic data.’ Furthermore, the exclusionary rule does not apply when officers act in good faith on a facially-valid warrant. Because the warrant in this case justifiably authorized a broad search of Defendant’s cell phone, the subsequent search did not exceed the scope of the warrant.” United States v. O’Dell, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159960 (D. Alaska Sept. 2, 2020).

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