• Phone evidence rules come into play in local drug investigation

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    Three people are accused of dealing drugs, but now federal investigators say that's not all they found when they searched through their homes.

    However, it's taking more than that to help prove the case. 

    “They're trying to search the data inside of a cell phone,” said Samuel Cordes, a constitutional law expert and lawyer who isn't working on this case, but says a search warrant shows how investigators are getting information off a cell phone to use in court.  


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    “Stuff that's on a cell phone, while it is private and you have an expectation of privacy, with probable cause, that information is available,” he said.

    According to court documents, investigators are trying to get texts from Quishawn Haynie’s phone.
    They already searched Haynie's home, even his trash, and say they found a white powder that turned out to be fentanyl. 

    According to texts investigators retrieved from other phones, Haynie wrote, "Itsa go bro," relating to a drug deal. 

    In another text, they say he was messaging another suspect, Deon Blair, saying, “You want it done up.” 

    Blair texted back: “Oh ill just get it raw bro.”

    Investigators caught on to Blair after a deadly overdose. They searched his Hill District home, and found a stolen gun used in a 2016 double homicide. 

    When it comes to searching phones, Cordes says it comes down to the Constitution. 

    “At the end of the day, the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution says (investigators) need to have probable cause,” he said.

    Channel 11 spoke with Blair's mom on Friday night. She was home when investigators searched her home.

    She didn't have much to say about her son's case, but says no drugs were found inside.


     

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