In United States v. Voustianiouk, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 14317 (2d Cir. 2012), the Second Circuit reversed a motion to suppress and vacated the conviction and sentence after law enforcement searched the defendant's home in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The agents obtained a search warrant to search a first floor apartment listed as the contact for an ISP, but when they arrived, they learned that the person listed on the account actually lived on the second floor. When they found the defendant, they showed him the search warrant and proceeded up the stairs to conduct the search. Thousands of images of child pornography were found in the apartment, and the defendant was subsequently found guilty of receipt and possession of child pornography.
On appeal, the defendant argued that the search violated the Fourth Amendment. The Second Circuit held that the search was a constitutional violation - no name was specified in the warrant - only an address, and thus no other location could properly have been searched without obtaining a new warrant. Officers had the defendant's name but intentionally concealed it from the magistrate because it was the location they were interested in searching.
Further, because the officers could have detained the defendant outside his home until a new warrant could be obtained but did not do so, the court ordered suppression of the evidence.