Argued: September 28, 2018
from the United States District Court for the Western
District of Virginia, at Harrisonburg. Michael F. Urbanski,
Chief District Judge. (5:16-cr-00001-MFU-JCH-1)
Lantz Harris, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER,
Charlottesville, Virginia, for Appellant.
Spodick Healey, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY,
Charlottesville, Virginia, for Appellee.
W. Shelton, Federal Public Defender, Christine Madeleine Lee,
Assistant Federal Defender for Appellate Litigation, OFFICE
OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Roanoke, Virginia, for
Williams Fisher, Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C.; Rick
A. Mountcastle, Acting United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Roanoke, Virginia, for Appellee.
WILKINSON and HARRIS, Circuit Judges, and William L. OSTEEN,
Jr., United States District Judge for the Middle District of
North Carolina, sitting by designation.
HARRIS, CIRCUIT JUDGE:
Charles Coleman arrested LaMarcus Thomas on charges of
aggravated sexual battery, and seized a cell phone from
Thomas during a search incident to the arrest. After Coleman
obtained a warrant to search the phone, authorities
discovered sexually explicit images and videos involving
with producing child pornography, Thomas moved to suppress
that evidence, arguing that the affidavit submitted with
Coleman's warrant application was insufficient to
establish probable cause for the search. The district court
agreed that the affidavit was deficient, but nevertheless
denied Thomas's motion to suppress under the good faith
exception to the exclusionary rule articulated in United
States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984). While the affidavit
alone did not establish probable cause, the district court
reasoned, additional information known to Coleman was enough
to give rise to an objectively reasonable belief that there
was probable cause for the search.
agree with the district court that the evidence obtained from
Thomas's phone is admissible under Leon. Our
precedents make clear that in assessing an officer's
objective good faith in executing a search warrant, we may
consider facts known to the officer, but inadvertently
omitted from a warrant affidavit. And under all the
circumstances presented here, Coleman had a reasonable basis
to believe ...