10th Circuit: Magistrate in one district can’t authorize search in another

Federal agents suspected Zachary Krueger, who lived in Kansas, of distributing child pornography on the internet. They obtained a warrant from a magistrate judge in Kanasas for his home, but discovered that neither he nor his computer was at home. His roommate told the agents that Krueger was in Oklahoma City, and the Kansas agents contacted their Oklahoma counterparts and arranged to have the warrant executed there. Agents also obtained another warrant from the Kansas judge purporting to authorize the search in Oklahoma. Child pornography was found on the computer.

The district court suppressed the evidence on the ground that a magistrate judge in one district lacks authority to authorize a search in another district. The Tenth Circuit affirmed in United States v. Krueger, an opinion by Judge Ebel. In addition, Judge Gorsuch wrote an opinion concurring in the judgment, which you should not miss.

Ben Gould of Seattle’s Keller Rohrback firm has this post about the case at his blog, Appellate Briefs. This looks like another blog worth adding to your regular reading list. And a hat tip to Howard Bashman of How Appealing for pointing me to Mr. Gould’s post.

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