CA11: Officer’s experience and opinions about CP collectors and retention of information is entitled to weight in PC determination

“Finally, the affidavit also contained sufficient evidence to conclude that ‘it was likely that child sexual abuse material (or evidence thereof) would be found at the [r]esidence, whether or not the material had been previously deleted.’ … The affidavit described the characteristics of collectors of child pornography, their tendency to hoard it, as well as the tendency of other possessors of child pornography and their tendency to delete it and, how, despite deleting such material, there were computer forensic techniques for recovering files that had ‘long been deleted’ from a computer. These statements were based on Agent Luedke’s ‘experience, training, and conversations with other experienced agents who investigate cases involving the sexual exploitation of children.’ Although Marino may contest the veracity of these statements, ‘[o]pinion and conclusions of an experienced agent,’ such as Agent Luedke, ‘regarding a set of facts,’ are a proper factor to consider in the ‘probable cause equation.’ … United States v. Marino, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 7953 (11th Cir. Apr. 3, 2024).

“In sum, assuming that a traffic stop is reasonable (supported by probable cause) in the first place, a pat-down for weapons must be separately reasonable, based on a reasonable, articulable, and particularized suspicion that the suspect is armed and therefore dangerous, and not based on the refusal of the suspect to consent to a search. Viewing a bulge that appears to be a concealed gun can provide that reasonable suspicion, especially when paired with furtive concealment, unusual behavior, and presence in a high crime area at night.” United States v. Neal, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72185 (E.D. Va. Apr. 19, 2024).*

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