University of Pittsburgh

David Harris Discusses Mistake in Search Warrant in Federal Fraud Case

Publish Date/Time: 
April 28, 2011

Professor David Harris told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the use of the wrong address on a search warrant in a current federal criminal fraud case is "a live issue" that could conceivably result in the suppression of evidence.  In the ongoing prosecution of Gregory Podlucky, federal agents executed a search warrant for Podlucky's home.   However, the warrant gave an incorrect address for the home; the address in the warrant was a vacant lot, located at least 1,000 feet from the home, on a different street.  Nevertheless, the agents used the warrant to conduct the search at the defendant's home, the address of which was not given in the warrant.  While these types of motions are difficult to win, Professor Harris said the motion certainly made a colorable argument.  The U.S. Supreme Court has found that warrants must include "enough information so that a reasonable police officer can determine where he or she is supposed to go and search," Professor Harris said.



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