United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION & ORDER
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jacob Maclin asks this Court to suppress evidence found at
his residence, in a Dropbox account and to suppress certain
statements he made to authorities. (Doc. 10). Because
investigators did not violate either of Defendant's
Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights, the Court
DENIES Defendant's Motion without a
of the Investigation
December of 2017, Homeland Security Investigators
(“HSI”) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania arrested an
individual by the name of “Dubois.” HSI arrested
Dubois for Traveling to Meet a Minor. A subsequent
investigation into Dubois revealed he engaged in various
chats on KIK Messenger (“KIK”). One such
conversation involved the user “curiousdude4321.”
Dubois's KIK chat history also reflected a shared access
to a Dropboxaccount associated with the email address
December 26, 2017, investigators sent a formal request to
Dropbox, Inc. to preserve all records and files relating to
the email@example.com account. Pittsburgh HSI also
issued a summons to Dropbox, Inc. for account and IP log
information related to the same account. The information
Dropbox provided in response included a single account login
from IP address 18.104.22.168 on January 1, 2018.
Additionally, the response provided a User ID ending in 8145.
also sent a summons to KIK regarding the subscriber
information for curiousdude4321. KIK responded on January 5,
2018 with the information, including IP login information for
the account from December 7, 2017 through January 1, 2018.
Sixty out of sixty-five logins utilized IP address
22.214.171.124, the same IP address that logged into the
firstname.lastname@example.org Dropbox account. This IP address was
assigned to an AT&T U-Verse customer in northeastern
Ohio. The remaining IP addresses were assigned to Verizon
January 11, 2018, HSI Pittsburgh referred the investigation
to the HSI Cleveland office. On January 23, 2018, Cleveland
investigators issued two summonses. The first they sent to
AT&T for user information related to the IP address
126.96.36.199, the IP address used to access both KIK and
Dropbox. AT&T responded on January 30, 2018, indicating
that the customer was Langston Maclin with an address of XXXX
Baintree Road, University Heights, Ohio 44118. Public records
confirmed Mr. Maclin owns the Baintree residence.
second summons investigators sent was to Verizon Wireless for
the other five IP addresses used to access the KIK account.
The only common phone number to access the different IP
addresses during the relevant times was (216) 906-****. This
phone number was associated with an account in the name of
review of public records indicated that Defendant, Mr.
Maclin's son, also resided at the Baintree residence.
Investigators compared KIK communications, state records and
Facebook information to confirm curiousdude4321 was likely
Defendant. They based this determination on the fact that
curiousdude4321 claimed his age to be 23, the same as
Defendant. It is also based on images posted on KIK that
resemble Defendant's Facebook pictures.
of Baintree Residence
on the above, Special Agent Michael Deterling applied for a
Search Warrant of the Baintree residence. Magistrate Judge
David Ruiz granted the Search Warrant on April 13, 2018. On
April 17, 2018, law enforcement from three different agencies
executed the Search Warrant. Authorities found Defendant home
alone. They removed Defendant and took him to a mobile
forensic lab parked in front of the residence for an
interview. Investigators informed Defendant he was not under
arrest, he did not have to answer any questions and he could
leave at any time. Despite these options, Defendant chose to
stay and answer questions. During the interview, Defendant
admitted to using KIK and viewing child pornography.
of email@example.com Dropbox Account
April 13, 2018, Agent Deterling applied for a Search Warrant
to review the contents of the firstname.lastname@example.org
account. Specifically, Agent Deterling stated “[t]he
property to be searched is the Dropbox user
account(s) and content associated with the
following email address: email@example.com.”
(emphasis added). The Magistrate Judge granted the Search
April 30, 2018 Dropbox responded. Dropbox provided
information related to a User Account ending in 7676. There
was no content associated with this account. Agent Deterling
noticed an error in Dropbox's production as the account
provided did not correspond with the information previously
preserved and supplied to Pittsburgh HSI. Deterling followed
up with Dropbox and requested information associated with
Dropbox User Account ending 8145.
2, 2018, Dropbox responded. Dropbox indicated the Deterling
was correct and that two separate User Accounts were
registered to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dropbox provided
content associated with User Account 8145 the next day. An
analysis indicated that the account contained approximately
1136 images and 79 video files showing the sexual
exploitation of minors.
September 26, 2018, the Grand Jury indicted Defendant with
one count of Receipt and Distribution of Visual Depictions of
Real Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2); and one count of
Possession of Child Pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 2252A(a)(5)(B). Defendant moved to suppress the
evidence recovered from his residence, from Dropbox and his
statements made to authorities on February 26, 2019. (Doc.
10). The Government opposed on March 12, 2019. (Doc. 12).
LAW & ANALYSIS
Standard of Review
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violation, and no Warrants shall
issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing ...