First Circuit Holds that Mobile Phones May Not Be Warrantlessly Searched as Part of a Search Incident to Lawful Arrest
Brima Wurie was arrested in South Boston because law enforcement officers suspected he was distributing cocaine base. Officers searched his cell phone, using information from it to determine his residential phone number, and thus the address of his residence. The officers subsequently went to and discovered contraband at his residence, and Mr. Wurie was sentenced to twenty-one (21) years imprisonment. However, on appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that officers violated the Fourth Amendment when they searched Mr. Wurie’s phone for reasons unrelated to officer safety, destruction of evidence, or any exigency.