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Man pleads guilty in case testing use of geofence warrant

Okello Chatrie pleaded guilty Monday to armed robbery and the use of a firearm in a 2019 robbery.
Okello Chatrie pleaded guilty Monday to armed robbery and the use of a firearm in a 2019 robbery.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 4:40 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Richmond man has pleaded guilty to bank robbery charges in a case that tested the constitutionality of broad search warrants that use Google location history to find people who were near crime scenes.

Okello Chatrie pleaded guilty Monday to armed robbery and the use of a firearm in a 2019 robbery.

Chatrie’s lawyers argued the use of a “geofence warrant” to identify people near the robbery scene violated their constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.

A judge ruled the warrant violated the Constitution by gathering the location history of people without having any evidence they had anything to do with the robbery. But the judge did not suppress evidence seized from the warrant, finding that the detective who applied for it acted in good faith.

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