Private search of cellphone destroyed reasonable expectation of privacy

Dennis Suellentrop, Jr., pleaded guilty to seven counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He reserved the right to appeal an order of the district court denying his motion to suppress images and videos retrieved from his cellular telephone. The Eighth Circuit held that law enforcement officers did not violate Suellentrop’s rights under the Fourth Amendment. In this case a person who resided at the domicile used the defendant’s phone and then “got nosey” and searched the images and found what was clearly child pornography. He told a friend who called the police and they handed the phone to the officer who seized it.  The search that took place was a private search and did not trigger the Fourth Amendment.

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