United States v. Jones – On Remand from SCOTUS, D.D.C. Denies Request to Suppress Cell-Site Data in GPS Case

December 14th, 2012

GPS data was tossed out by SCOTUS. Now, he’ll be convicted based on cell-site data. The dude can’t win!

The opinion is here:

On January 23, 2012, the Supreme Court vacated Antoine Jones’ conviction under 21 U.S.C. § 846 for Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Five Kilograms or more of Cocaine and Fifty Grams or more of Cocaine Base. United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012). In that opinion, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government’s installation of a GPS device on Jones’ car and use of the device to track the car’s movement for a period of twenty-eight days constituted a Fourth Amendment search. Relying on that decision, as well as the D.C. Circuit’s opinion in this case in United States v. Maynard, 615 F.3d 544 (D.C. Cir. 2010), aff’d on other grounds sub nom. United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012), defendant now moves to suppress cell-site data covering a four-month period that was obtained pursuant to three orders issued by United States Magistrate Judges of this Court in June, August, and September of 2005. (Defendant’s Motion to Suppress Cell Site Data, Mar. 29, 2012 [ECF No. 606] (“Mot.”).)

Defendant, with the support of an amici curiae brief filed by Electronic Frontier Foundation and Center for Democracy & Technology (Brief Amici Curiae in Support of Defendant Jones’ Motion to Suppress, Aug. 13, 2012 [ECF No. 644] (“Amicus Br.”)), argues that under the Fourth Amendment, the government was required to obtain a warrant based on probable cause prior to tracking Jones’ location based on cell-site data provided by a third party provider for a four-month period of time. The Court, however, need not resolve this vexing question of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, since it concludes that the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies.

H/T Mike Scarcella