U.S. v. Jameson

U.S. v. Jameson, 2010 WL 1379817 (C.A.10 (Okla.))
Order and Judgment - April 8, 2010
An FBI task force officer, during a network search for the Innocent Images National Initiative, found that the defendant’s IP address was related to the posting of images with titles related to child pornography. The FBI officer obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s address after asserting that some of the images had traveled in interstate commerce. The defendant’s computer was recovered and it was discovered to contain child pornography images.
Procedural History:
The defendant was indicted for possessing graphic image files, which had been transported by computer in interstate commerce. The defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence gained from the search of his residence arguing that there were no facts to support the conclusion that the images had traveled in interstate commerce. After the hearing on the merits, the district court denied the motion and the defendant entered a conditional plea of guilty. This appeal followed.
Question Presented:
Does transmission via the internet satisfy the interstate commerce element of 18 U.S.C. § 2252 (a)(2), which prohibits possessing graphic image files, which have been transported in interstate commerce, of minors engaging in secularly explicit conduct, thus providing a substantial basis sufficient to satisfy the warrant?
The court recognizes that the government must “establish that in committing the offense, a visual image has been mailed, or has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce… by any means including by computer. In U.S. v. Schaefer the court held that use of the internet alone was insufficient to satisfy the interstate commerce element. However, the court reasons that in Schaefer the question was one of sustaining a conviction, not probably cause to support a belief that a crime had been committed. The court found no evidence to support expanding the Schaefer rule.
Yes, the affidavit provided a substantial basis sufficient to sustain the warrant because, as the Court cited from Schaefer, “in many, if not most, situations the use of the Internet will involve the movement of communications or materials between states.”

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