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United States v. Saboonchi

United States District Court for the District of Maryland
990 F. Supp. 2d 536 (2014)


Ali Saboonchi (defendant), a dual citizen of the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, was entering the United States from Canada with his wife when they were stopped at the border and sent to a secondary inspection area after Saboonchi’s name triggered an alert stating that he was under investigation for exporting items to Iran, an embargoed country. Saboonchi and his wife were briefly questioned and then released. However, two cell phones and a USB flash drive were seized from Saboonchi by border agents. A Homeland Security Investigations special agent imaged each of the devices and sent the images to a facility in Baltimore, Maryland, where the devices were forensically analyzed and searched using specialized software. Saboonchi was indicted on multiple charges of unlawful exports to Iran. Saboonchi filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained from the forensic search of the electronic devices.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Grimm, J.)

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