United States v. Chatrie, No. 3:19-cr-130 (E.D. Va.)

In United States v. Chatrie, No. 3:19-cr-130 (E.D. Va.), Okello Chatrie was charged with armed robbery based on Google Sensorvault data obtained by law enforcement via a geofence warrant. Chatrie is represented by Michael Price, Senior Litigation Counsel for the Fourth Amendment Center, and Laura Koenig, a public defender in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Key Documents

Defendant's Motion to Suppress Evidence Obtained from a "Geofence" General Warrant

Government's Response in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Suppression of Evidence Obtained Pursuant to Google Geofence Warrant

Defendant's Reply to Government's Response to Motion to Suppress Evidence Obtained from Search of Information Associated with Mr. Chatrie's Google Accounts

Geofence State Search Warrant by Government as to Okello T. Chatrie

Indictment

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Defendant's Motion for Discovery Regarding Government's Use of Google's Sensorvault Data

Government's Response in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Discovery of Sensorvault Data

Defendant's Reply to Government's Response to his Motion for Discovery Regarding Government's Use of Google's Sensorvault Data

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Amicus Brief by Google, LLC In Support of Neither Party Concerning Defendant's Motion To Suppress Evidence From A "Geofence" General Warrant

Defendant's Response to Google's Motion to File Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Neither Party

Government's Response to Amicus Curiae Brief of Google, LLC

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Defendant's Motion for Issuance of a Subpoena Duces Tecum Pursuant to Rule 17(c) and Memorandum in Support Thereof

Order Granting Defendant's Motion for Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum

Government's Response to Defendant's Motion for Issuance of a Subpoena Duces Tecum Pursuant to Rule 17(c)

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Defendant's Brief on the Application of Brady and Rule 16 to a Suppression Hearing

Government's Supplemental Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Discovery of Sensorvault Data

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All of the case documents are publicly available here.

 


Press

Defense challenges use of Google location data from everyone in vicinity of Hull Street Road bank robbery.

(Richmond Times-Dispatch) Chatrie’s lawyers with the federal public defender office and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers argue in their suppression motion that Lauck 'should treat the geofence warrant here as any other general warrant: repugnant to the Constitution. Geofence warrants represent an unprecedented expansion of the government’s surveillance capabilities.'

Do Geofence Warrants Violate the Fourth Amendment?

(Lawfare) Unlike traditional warrants that identify a particular suspect in advance of a search, geofence warrants essentially allow the government to work backward. These warrants compel a technology company (so far, only Google) to disclose anonymized location records for any devices in a certain area during a specified time period. 

Alleged bank robber accuses police of illegally using Google location data to catch him.

(The Washington Post) Prosecutors called the case the first of its kind, though the issue has come up in other states, including New YorkNorth CarolinaFlorida and Minnesota. Experts expect that geofence warrants will be the next big Fourth Amendment battle in digital privacy.

Police used Google location data to find an accused bank robber. He says that's illegal.

(NBC News) As more police use such warrants, the method is raising concerns among privacy advocates, who say the government is gathering information from people in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches.

What Is A Geofence Warrant? Bank Robbery Accused Snagged Using Google Maps Location Data.

(International Business Times) Though geofencing warrants proved to be a powerful weapon for investigators, the practice has been criticised for its diluting effect on the Fourth Amendment right. That exactly is Chatrie’s defense.

An accused bank robber claims the police broke the law when they used Google location data to track him down. Privacy advocates agree.

(Insider) In theory, the geofence warrant attempts to take the idea of a physical crime scene and reimagine it for an internet-connected world. But that can lead to situations where innocent bystanders may have their personal information sucked up by police in wholesale ways that wouldn't have happened before the ubiquity of internet-connected smartphones.

 

 

 

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