United States v. Pelletier, No. 12-1274 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Pelletier admitted during a job interview with the FBI that he had pornographic pictures of children on his home computer, which he claimed were related to research. The admission occurred in an unlocked polygraph room, in the presence of an unarmed agent. Pelletier signed a form that provided: “I understand that I am not in custody, that my participation in the polygraph examination is voluntary, and that I may leave at any time.” Another agent, wearing his badge and sidearm, told Pelletier that “you don’t have to answer any questions.” Pelletier refused a request for a computer search, but admitted to “inadvertently” creating child pornography by recording himself having sex with a girl. The agent directed another agent to go to Pelletier’s home and freeze the premises, telling Pelletier that he was going to try to get a warrant. Pelletier signed a consent form. The FBI found more than 600 images of children on his computer. Pelletier conditionally pled guilty to possession of child pornography, 18 U.S.C. 2252(a)(5)(B). The Seventh Circuit affirmed denial of a motion to suppress. Pelletier was never in custody; voluntarily consented to the search; and the contents of the computer inevitably would have been discovered with a search warrant.