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United States v. Clive

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


May 2, 2006

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
NOEL CLIVE

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

Memorandum and Order of Court

Defendant moves for suppression of his computer from his residence and any evidence seized from the computer, such as pornographic images and e-mail correspondence with the undercover agent posing as a 15 year old female on the grounds that there was no probable cause set forth in the warrant or the supporting affidavit,*fn1 that the warrant was overbroad and that the evidence is not admissible under the "good faith" (United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984)) exception to the warrant requirement.

After careful consideration of defendant's motion (Document No. 19) and the government's response thereto (Document No. 21), the Court finds that, considering the totality of the circumstances, Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 236 (1983), United States Postal Inspector Thomas Clinton, the affiant, stated probable cause to search and seize his computer for pornographic images of minors, since defendant had solicited by e-mail and chat room an undercover agent he believed was a 15 year old girl, "amybell15," sent her an image of a female who appeared to be a minor, and told "amybell15" that the image depicted a girl of "similar age" as her. If the affidavit did not state probable cause, it was certainly close enough to make the Magistrate Judge's probable cause determination reasonable, and, therefore, to make Inspector Clinton's reliance on the warrant objectively reasonable and in good faith, and admissible under Leon.*fn2

For the foregoing reasons, defendant's motion to suppress (Document No. 19) is DENIED.

SO ORDERED this 2nd day of May, 2006


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