United States v. Clark, No. 11-1479 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Officers searched a home inhabited by Clark and her adult son, Matthew. The warrant, issued the previous day, authorized a search for evidence of animal cruelty and unlicensed operation of a breeding kennel. Officers entered the Matthew's bedroom. Near a computer work station, they saw a list of web sites with titles suggestive of child pornography and nude photographs appearing to depict underage males. The officers immediately halted their search and obtained a supplementary warrant that authorized a search for child pornography. Officers seized evidence that formed the basis for indictment of Matthew for possessing child pornography, 18 U.S.C. 2252A (a)(5)(B). The trial judge rejected an argument that the first warrant was defective because the affidavit submitted with the application did not make out probable cause to believe that evidence of animal cruelty or an unlicensed kennel would be found and that the second search would not have occurred but for the evidence uncovered during the initial (illegal) search. The court relied on defendant's two prior convictions for indecent acts involving children as a basis for an offense-level enhancement and sentenced him to a 210-month term (the bottom of the guideline sentencing range). The First Circuit affirmed the conviction and the sentence.