June 2, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Fort Wayne Division. No. l:14-CR-44-TLS
- Theresa L. Springmann, Chief Judge.
Flaum, Easterbrook, and Kanne, Circuit Judges.
EASTERBROOK, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
the authority of a warrant, see United States v.
Jones, 565 U.S. 400 (2012), police installed and
monitored a GPS locator on a car owned and driven by Mark
Hoist. They were investigating Hoist's participation in
methamphetamine sales and wanted to know, among other things,
where he was getting the drug. The GPS device had the ability
to transmit data so that the car could be traced in real
time. Police tracked Hoist's car on September 4, 2014,
and learned that it had stopped at a particular place for
more than an hour. An informant told the police that Hoist
had traveled to buy methamphetamine. Police stopped
Hoist's car as he was driving home and found some of that
drug. They relayed the information to other officers, who
applied for a warrant to search the house in whose driveway
Hoist's car had lingered. That house turned out to be
Cory Castetter's. The search turned up methamphetamine,
other drugs, and approximately $62, 000 in cash.
under federal law, 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1), Castetter moved
to suppress the evidence found when the police executed the
second warrant. He did not dispute the validity of the first
warrant or the existence of probable cause to support the
second warrant, but he contended that information derived
from the first warrant should be ignored-and, if it is
ignored, the second warrant would lose its foundation.
Castetter observed that Hoist lives in Michigan, where the
first warrant issued, while he lives just across the border
in Indiana. As Castetter saw things, Michigan's police
lack authority to monitor the location of a car in Indiana,
no matter what the Michigan warrant says. Castetter's
fallback argument is that the first warrant pertains to
Hoist, not him, and that police (whether from Michigan or
Indiana) were forbidden to learn who was doing business on
his property without obtaining a warrant based on his own
activities. The district court rejected these arguments and
denied the motion. 115 F.Supp.3d 968 (N.D. Ind. 2015).
Castetter then entered a conditional plea of guilty,
reserving the right to raise the suppression argument on
appeal, and was sentenced to 108 months' imprisonment.
problem with Castetter's principal argument is that the
Fourth Amendment does not concern state borders. It reads:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated; and no Warrants shall
issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Nothing there about state lines. The Constitution demands
that a warrant be supported by probable cause, an oath, and
particularity. As we have already mentioned Castetter does
not deny that these requirements were satisfied.
may decide as a matter of domestic law not to authorize their
police to acquire information extraterritorially but federal
courts do not use the exclusionary rule to enforce state-law
doctrines. See Virginia v. Moore, 553 U.S. 164
(2008). States also may elect to ignore information given to
them, by other states' officers, about what happens
within their territory. As far as the Fourth Amendment is
concerned, the Indiana judge who was asked to issue the
second warrant could have said: "I don't think that
the Michigan police have any business insinuating their GPS
locators into this state, so I refuse to issue a
warrant." But the Indiana judge did not say that. So we
have not only the principle of Moore that violations
of state law do not justify suppression in federal
prosecutions, but also the (implicit) decision of the Indiana
judge that there was no problem, as a matter of Indiana's
law, in using information about Indiana sent to police in
about Hoist's driving (and stopping) went by radio to a
receiver connected to the Internet. We do not know the
receiver's location (it may have been a satellite or a
cell-data node), but the Internet transcends state borders-
and the GPS satellites, all launched and operated by the U.S.
Air Force, are in orbit 12, 540 miles high, well beyond any
state's domain. The process of tracking a car's
location by GPS does not offend any state's sovereign
rights; this prosecution cannot founder on the theory that
the drug laws, or the GPS system, exceed the national power
to legislate, regulate, or investigate. Compare Bond v.
United States, 134 S.Ct. 2077 (2014), with Gonzales
v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005). The national government,
not any state, regulates radio, interstate computer networks,
and the GPS system.
fallback argument is equally weak. True, the first warrant
was not based on information about Castetter. But neither did
it authorize anyone to learn about the inside of his home, as
the infrared device did in Kyllo v. United States,
533 U.S. 27 (2001). All the police learned by monitoring the
GPS device was the location of Hoist's car, and Castetter
lacked a privacy interest in that location.
that instead of getting a warrant to track Hoist's car,
police had persuaded him to become an informant and report
what happened inside Castetter's house. Suppose, indeed,
that Hoist had agreed to wear a camera and an audio recorder,
providing many facts about Castetter's house and
comprehensive details about the transaction. That would not
have violated any of Castetter's rights. See, e.g.,
Hoffa v. United States,385 U.S. 293 (1966). Or
suppose Castetter had given Hoist documents revealing
specifics of his drug operations, and the police later had
stopped Hoist without either probable cause or a warrant.
Castetter could not object, because the privacy invaded would
have been Hoist's rather than Castetter's. See
United States v. Payner,447 U.S. 727 (1980);
Rawlings v. Kentucky,448 U.S. 98 (1980). But the
police did none of these things. They obtained a