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


Amicus Briefs

Subpoena to Google


Cellphone dragnet used to find bank robbery suspect was unconstitutional, judge says

"[Chatrie's] lawyers, including Michael Price, the lead litigator of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Fourth Amendment Center, argued that the geofence warrant violated the Constitution and that the information police got from it should be thrown out."

Creepy ‘Geofence’ Finds Anyone Who Went Near a Crime Scene

"Lawyers for Okello Chatrie, a suspect in a Virginia bank robbery, are questioning the legality of a geofence warrant that led to Chatrie’s arrest. Google declined to take a position on his case but, in an amicus brief, called a geofence request 'an uniquely broad search of all Google users' timelines.'"

Police Requests for Google Users’ Location Histories Face New Scrutiny 

"Roughly one-third of all Google users opted in as of last year, according to the company’s filings in the case, sending information related to tens or potentially hundreds of millions of people to a database known internally as Sensorvault. A Google representative declined to provide precise numbers."

Google’s Geofence Warrants Face a Major Legal Challenge 

"No matter how it is decided, United States v. Chatrie will likely spark other cases. If some succeed and are appealed, that would bump the issue up to the higher courts and maybe — especially if judges disagree — into a Supreme Court case that changes the law. A flurry of litigation might also convince lawmakers to pass federal legislation that either bans geofence warrants or spells out how they should be executed."


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