United States v. Bishop, No. 18-2019 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
During a drug deal, Bishop was pepper sprayed by his customer and shot her. He was convicted of discharging a firearm during a drug transaction, 18 U.S.C. 924(c). He argued that the warrant authorizing a search of his cell phone violated the Fourth Amendment’s requirement that every warrant “particularly describ[e] the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” by describing the “place to be searched” as the cell phone Bishop carried during the attempted sale, and describing the things to be seized as: any evidence (including all photos, videos, and/or any other digital files, including removable memory cards) of suspect identity, motive, scheme/plan along with DNA evidence of the crime of Criminal Recklessness with a deadly weapon which is hidden or secreted [in the cellphone or] related to the offense of Dealing illegal drugs. The Seventh Circuit upheld the denial of Bishop’s motion to suppress. While the warrant permitted the police to look at every file on the phone and decide which files satisfied the description, the warrant was not too general. It is enough if the warrant confines the things being looked for by stating what crime is under investigation. A warrant need not be more specific than knowledge allows.