United States v. Voustianiouk, No. 10-4420 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement obtained a report from German federal police indicating that the user of a particular IP address had child pornography on their computer. American officials traced the IP address, obtained the name and address of the customer whose account was associated with the address, verified the address (but not the apartment number) with post office and drivers’ records, and obtained a warrant. Neither the warrant nor any accompanying information mentioned Voustianiouk’s name. About a week later, agents arrived at the building and rang both buzzers because neither was marked. They saw a light from the second floor; a man came to the front door and confirmed that he was Voustianiouk. Officials did not explain that the warrant did not mention Voustianiouk’s name or that it clearly referred to the downstairs apartment, not the second floor. Officials discovered thousands of files containing child pornography on Voustianiouk’s computers. He admitted to viewing child pornography for more than one year. The district court imposed a five-year sentence. The Second Circuit vacated the conviction, holding that the search violated the Fourth Amendment and that the government should have been prohibited from introducing evidence seized as a result of that search.