Western District of Louisiana holds that defendant’s computer IP address is covered by the third party doctrine.

In this drug trafficking prosecution, the District Court was ruling on a Motion to Suppress where the FBI issued an administrative subpoena for records from an internet service provider. The investigation started with a postal employee eyeing a suspicious package which alerted to a canine. The package was checked continuously by a specific computer with a specific IP address. Comcast verified that that IP address belonged to the defendant.

The court ruled that the third party doctrine controls here as the IP address belongs to the service provider, not to the defendant.

The case is United States v. Felton, 367 F. Supp. 3d 569, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25400, W.D. LA (February 15, 2019).

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