CA8: Child porn knock-and-talk leads to valid exigency-based warrantless entry

This case started with a knock-and-talk about defendant visiting websites involving commercial sex acts with children. “While talking with William Meyer outside his home, federal agents grew worried that, if he went back inside, he would destroy evidence. Rather than take that risk, they entered his home without a warrant and took two computers, a cellphone, and a hard drive. The main question in this case is whether their actions violated the Fourth Amendment. We agree with the district court that they did not.” They got a search warrant, of course, before searching the devices. United States v. Meyer, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 35593 (8th Cir. Dec. 2, 2021). (This isn’t unusual. This isn’t the first case like this. We’ve seen this repeatedly in drug cases, too.)

Defendant argues on appeal that the two officers’ testimony at the suppression hearing was implausible and contradictory, but it’s not implausible at all. One officer’s not mentioning something doesn’t matter if he wasn’t even asked. Also, the automobile exception supports the search, and alternative arguments of plain view and search incident don’t need to be decided. United States v. Reed, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 35565 (11th Cir. Dec. 3, 2021).*

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