W.D.Pa.: US Private Vaults safety deposit boxes in California could be inventoried by FBI leading to case here

The FBI obtained a search warrant for the premises at US Private Vaults in Beverly Hills, California. The probable cause was based on a belief USPV was engaged in money laundering. The FBI went further and inventoried the safety deposit boxes. The inventory search was reasonable under FBI policy to inventory locked containers seized under a warrant and under the Fourth Amendment, and that led to this case in Pennsylvania. “For the reasons below, and having considered all record evidence in this matter, the Court finds that the FBI complied with the valid Warrants issued by Magistrate Judge Kim in inventorying the contents of Mr. Polk’s safe deposit box at USPV. Based on that holding, the Court proceeds with the understanding that the Government’s subsequent actions relative to Mr. Polk and his property were appropriate. Therefore, the Court finds that the Government complied with the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution in obtaining the evidence that it now seeks to use against Mr. Polk, a conclusion that leads the Court to DENY Mr. Polk’s Motion to Suppress Evidence (ECF No. 1266).” “Therefore, given all of the foregoing, the Government necessarily came into possession of the safe deposit boxes at USPV (including their contents), and the Government had every reason to inventory the contents of those boxes to not only identify their owners, but also to protect the agents handling the boxes, and to ensure that the owners of the boxes did not allege that the Government had removed any of the contents of the boxes before (potentially) returning those contents. In short, the mere fact that Mr. Polk’s identifying information was on Box 5911 did not eliminate the need for an inventory search of that Box.” United States v. Polk, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117905 (W.D. Pa. July 3, 2024). For more information do a Google search of “U.S. Private Vaults”

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