Massachusetts District Court finds exigent circumstances to defeat motion to suppress based on warrantless retrieval of real-time CSLI

In this child pornography distribution prosecution, the defendant made a motion to suppress because Homeland Security agents located him by using real-time cell site location information without an order or a warrant. The defendant claimed that this compromised a later search warrant that was executed on his residence.

Law enforcement went to the defendant’s residence to arrest him pursuant to a warrant but could not locate him. Agents contacted his cell phone service provider and told them that “had an arrest warrant for a subject who was charged with distribution of child pornography and during the investigation the subject had admitted to harming young children as recent as the previous weekend.”

The Court found that, assuming Carpenter applies to real-time CSLI, that the exigent circumstances exception applied to the warrant requirement.

The case is United States v. Saemisch, 371 F. Supp. 3d 37, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32706, 2019 WL 989760 D. Mass. (March 1, 2019).

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