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United States v. Hudson

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

February 19, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiffs,
v.
CLIFTON HUDSON, Defendant.

          FINDINGS, RECCOMENDATION AND ORDER

          CHERYL R. ZWART, Magistrate Judge.

         The defendant moved to suppress subscriber and cell-site information obtained by the government through the execution of several search warrants issued by District and County Court judges in Buffalo County, Nebraska (Filing No. 61; Filing No. 62 at CM/ECF pp. 9-11). For the reasons discussed below, the motion to suppress should be denied.

         BACKGROUND

         On October 17, 2014, the Kearney Eaton Employee's Credit Union (KEECU) located at 2600 East Highway 30 in Kearney, Nebraska was robbed by two unknown African American males. The same individuals had been recorded on surveillance video near the credit union on October 16 between the hours of 11:00 am and 1:00 pm and investigating officers believed the individuals had been scouting the area at that time. Based on this video, the City of Kearney Police Department ("KPD") concluded it was likely these individuals had placed cell phone calls around this time and the time of the robbery. On October 24, 2014, the KPD submitted two identical search warrant applications to Buffalo County District Judge William T. Wright The applications sought production of

[a]ll available toll records to include call details for incoming and outgoing calls, cell site and cell site towers nearest to 2600 E. Highway 30, Kearney, Buffalo County Nebraska for all calls made between 11:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. on October 16, 2014 and between 8:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. on October 17, 2014.

(Filing No. 73-1 at CM/ECF p. 1; Filing No. 73-2 at CM/ECF p. 1). The warrants were directed to two cell phone service providers; Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular. Judge Wright granted both warrant applications and issued the requested warrants.

         Based upon further investigation and findings, on December 3, 2014, KPD sought a search warrant for U.S. Cellular phone records pertaining to Hudson's phone number. Specifically they sought

[a]ny and all cellular telephone records for telephone number XXX-XXX-XXXX to include but not limited to, billing information, as well as dates, times, content, and telephone numbers of incoming and outgoing text messages and incoming and outgoing of phone calls, also information concerning IP addresses that text messages may have been sent from or received from, from 09/01/2014 to 10/31/2014.

(Filing No. 73-3 at CM/ECF p. 1). Buffalo County Court Judge Rademacher found probable cause to grant the warrant applications, and issued the requested warrants as written.

         On December 11, 2014, KPD sought a warrant from Sprint for "any and all cell tower information for telephone number XXX-XXX-XXXX from 09/01/2014 to 10/31/2014." (Filing No. 73-4 at CM/ECF p. 1). Buffalo County Court Judge Jorgensen granted the warrant.

         On January 9, 2015, KPD sought a warrant for U.S. Cellular phone records regarding Hudson's second phone number. They requested

[a]ny and all cellular telephone records for the telephone number XXX-XXX-XXXX to include but not limited to, billing information, dates and times of calls received or dialed as well as dates and times of all text messages received and sent and the content of both received and sent text messages, also information concerning IP addresses that text messages may have been sent from or received from, for the dates of 09/01/2014 to 10/31/2014, also all cell tower information pertaining to this number from this time frame.

(Filing No. 73-6 at CM/ECF p. 1). Judge Jorgensen granted the warrant.

         On February 3, 2015, KPD sought a warrant from Cellco ...


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