Defendant went through airport security in Long Beach with a gun in a bag. A further stop and search of him found seven cell phones. They were ultimately searched with a warrant finding text messages detailing drug deals. The delay in the search was reasonable. United States v. Burris, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 355 (8th Cir. Jan. 6, 2022):
Delay in searching a phone is immaterial to the reasonableness of a seizure, however, when the device has independent evidentiary value. If a cellular phone is evidence of a crime regardless of its contents, then the government is justified in retaining the device on that basis alone. See United States v. Smith, 967 F.3d 198, 209 (2d Cir. 2020); United States v. Mitchell, 565 F.3d 1347, 1352 (11th Cir. 2009) (per curiam).
In this case, the seven cell phones seized from Burris had evidentiary value independent of their contents. The government seized a gun, cash, and other evidence that Burris was involved in drug trafficking. That Burris possessed seven cell phones is further evidence that he was involved in the drug trade, as traffickers often use multiple phones to avoid detection and to compartmentalize different points of contact in the drug dealing business. United States v. Spires, 628 F.3d 1049, 1053 (8th Cir. 2011); United States v. Thompson, 881 F.3d 629, 633 (8th Cir. 2018). Because the phones had evidentiary value independent of the data on the phones, the eight-month seizure of the devices before they were searched was not unreasonable.