D.Mont.: On foot in rural MT in area known for illegal border crossings was RS for stop

“Excluding Manrique-Frias’s clothing, the CBP officers observed Manrique-Frias walking in an unpopulated rural area within miles of the border where illegal on-foot entry recently had increased and in weather conditions that a person typically would not walk. Agent Buchnowski testified that he observed Manrique-Frias on his phone. Manrique-Frias argues that using a phone while walking is innocent behavior. ‘Even innocent, noncriminal acts can foster reasonable suspicion in the total context.’ … Agent Buchnowski explained that in his experience people who illegally had entered the country often pulled out their phone when they saw a marked border patrol vehicle to alert their ride. These circumstances, when viewed all together, gave rise to reasonable suspicion.” United States v. Manrique-Frias, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165486 (D. Mont. Sep. 18, 2023).

Petitioner’s cell phone was seized, copied, and returned. By court order, however, no one can see the contents: Not the court, DA, or defense. Until there is potential release of the information, this case isn’t ripe yet. State v. Cunningham, 2023-Ohio-3300 (11th Dist. Sep. 18, 2023).*

Defendant is on parole and his cell phone seized by the PO. The later search warrant for the phone was founded on probable cause. United States v. Peters, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165503 (D. Mont. Sep. 18, 2023).*

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