United States v. Beaudion, No. 19-30635 (5th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. In this case, the parties agree that the Government conducted a search when it used the GPS coordinates from Verizon to locate defendant's girlfriend's phone.
The court affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress, holding that the "place searched" is limited to location information about defendant's girlfriend and that defendant does not have a Fourth Amendment property or privacy interest in that information. Therefore, defendant did not have Fourth Amendment standing to challenge the search. Furthermore, the Supreme Court's decision in Carpenter v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018), does not change the result. Even if defendant had standing to challenge the GPS search, the court held that he has failed to show that the search was unreasonable where the warrant clearly complies with the plain text of the Stored Communications Act. Finally, the court held that defendant never challenged the constitutionality of the traffic stop in the district court and offered no argument that the court should overlook his forfeiture under plain error review.