United States v. Burgard, No. 11-1863 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
A friend of defendant told Sergeant Wilson that he had seen sexual images of young girls on defendant's cell phone, and that defendant, 21 years old, had bragged about having sex with them. The friend later texted Wilson that he and defendant were together in a car. Wilson stopped the car and seized defendant's phone, but did not immediately apply for a search warrant. He sent a report to Detective Krug, who worked with the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force. Krug tried to contact Wilson for more details, but shift differences and other delays resulted in a six-day gap before Krug obtained a federal warrant, searched the phone, and found the images. The district court denied a motion to suppress, finding the delay not unreasonable, and that, if were unreasonable, the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule would apply. Defendant entered a conditional plea of guilty to receiving child pornography, 18 U.S.C. 2252(a)(2), and was sentenced to 210 months in prison. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. While the officers did not act with perfect diligence, the delay was not so egregious as to render the search and seizure unreasonable.