In this case, the District Court denied a motion to suppress the defendant’s cell-site location data for four different phones, one of them being styled “the heroin phone”. 2 of the phones’ data were obtained through court orders and two through search warrants.
With respect to this specific phone, the Court ruled that one defendant had no standing because the heroin phone was not registered in either defendant’s name, but rather to an associate, and neither defendant were listed as authorized users.
The court noted that there is no allegation that one defendant used, possessed, or owned this phone, its CSLD cannot be used to track his physical movements so that defendant had no legitimate expectation of privacy in the data.
Additionally, the Court approved of one court order in this case because it was explicitly based upon a finding of probable cause and was based on probable cause.
There’s also a brief discussion regarding a consensual search of another phone.
The case is United States v. Santos-Matos, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182860, Dist. Delaware (October 25).