United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
CARLTON W. REEVES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Lai Saechao's Second Motion to Suppress.
After considering the briefs, applicable law, and arguments
presented at a hearing held this day, the Motion will be
Koutsos, James Horrisberger, and Lai Saechao were arrested
and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to
distribute, conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to
distribute, and interstate transportation in aid of
racketeering. Horrisberger and Saechao first moved to
suppress the marijuana seized in connection to their
detention and arrest. That motion was denied, see United
States v. Koutsos, 3:17-CR-77-CWR-LRA, 2017 WL 5615893,
at *7 (S.D.Miss. Nov. 21, 2017), as was their motion for
reconsideration, see United States v. Koutsos,
3:17-CR-77-CWR-LRA, 2018 WL 523944, at *5 (S.D.Miss. Jan. 23,
now moves to suppress the material the government found on
his electronic devices, particularly his Samsung Galaxy Note.
These devices (and others) were seized upon Defendants'
arrest on June 6, 2017. On June 30, 2017, the government
applied for and obtained search warrants to download and
analyze material from the devices. The warrants expired on
July 12, 2017. Two days later, however, the government
extracted data from Saechao's Samsung Galaxy Note.
Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and
seizures, but “says nothing about suppressing evidence
obtained in violation of this command.” Davis v.
United States, 131 S.Ct. 2419, 2426 (2011). Rather, the
exclusionary rule is a prudential doctrine created by the
Supreme Court to “compel respect for [the]
constitutional guaranty.” Id. “The
rule's sole purpose . . . is to deter future Fourth
Amendment violations.” Id. (citations
challenges the search warrants on three grounds. Each will be
discussed in turn.
Expired Search Warrants
first contends that evidence from his devices should be
suppressed because it was obtained two days after the
government's warrants expired.
warrant authorizes a search for electronically stored
information, “officers may (1) seize or copy the entire
storage medium and (2) review it later to determine what
electronically stored information falls within the scope of
the warrant.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 41 advisory
committee's note to 2009 amendment. The first step, the
execution period, is limited to a “specified time no
longer than 14 days.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(e)(2)(A). The
second step, the review period, is unlimited unless otherwise
specified by the magistrate. “A substantial amount of
time can be involved in the forensic imaging and review of
information.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 41 advisory committee
notes to 2009 amendment.
case, each warrant commanded officers “to execute this
warrant on or before July 12, 2017.” The deadline of
July 12 “refer[red] to the seizure or on-site copying
of the media or information, and not to any later
off-site copying or review.” Fed. R. Crim. P.
41(e)(2)(B). The government missed this deadline. The
government seized Saechao's cell phone well before July
12, 2017, but it failed to seize or extract the media until
two days later.
the government did not satisfy the warrant's time
requirements, its conduct does not necessarily result in
suppression. In United States v. Chambers, officers
executed a search warrant two days after it expired. No.
1:07-CR-15, 2007 WL 287406, at *1 (S.D.Miss. Sept. 27, 2007).
Despite this delay, Judge Guirola denied the defendant's
motion to suppress for the following reasons: (1) there was
“no showing that the delay was the result of
intentional disregard of the warrant terms”; (2) the
warrants were executed within the 10-day requirement of Rule