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United States v. Jones

United States Supreme Court
132 S. Ct. 945 (2012)



Washington, D.C. nightclub owner Antoine Jones (defendant) was suspected by the FBI of being involved in a large-scale drug trafficking operation. As part of a joint task-force operation with the police, FBI agents applied for a warrant that would allow them to place a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking device on Jones’s vehicle in an effort to track his movements. A federal district court issued the warrant but required the agents to place the device on Jones’s vehicle within 10 days of issuance of the warrant and while the vehicle was physically located in the District of Columbia. On the eleventh day, and while the vehicle was parked in a lot in Maryland, agents placed the GPS device on the vehicle’s undercarriage. For 28 days, the Government used the device to track Jones’s movements and collected more than 2,000 pages of data. Jones was indicted on multiple counts of drug-related offenses. Prior to trial, defense counsel filed a motion to suppress the information the Government obtained from the GPS device. The district court granted the motion in part and suppressed only the data obtained while the vehicle was parked in a garage adjoining Jones’s residence. Jones was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. The court of appeals reversed and held the warrantless use of the GPS device violated the Fourth Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)

Concurrence (Sotomayor, J.)

Concurrence (Alito, J.)

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