Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Western District of Tennessee at Memphis.
No. 2:15-cr-20242-1—Sheryl H. Lipman, District Judge.
Argued: March 16, 2017
Decided and Filed: June 5, 2017
Before: BOGGS, ROGERS, and COOK, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM. This case calls upon us to clarify the rules by which police may seek to
find miscreants: When a fugitive subject to an arrest warrant for armed robbery hides in a motel,
may the government track his cell phone’s GPS coordinates to locate and arrest him?
Yes, the district court held—and we affirm, holding that the government’s detection of
Montai Riley’s whereabouts in this case, which included tracking Riley’s real-time GPS location
data for approximately seven hours preceding his arrest, did not amount to a Fourth Amendment
search under our precedent in United States v. Skinner, 690 F.3d 772, 781 (6th Cir. 2012). The
government used Riley’s GPS location data to learn that Riley was hiding out at the Airport Inn
in Memphis, Tennessee—but only after inquiring of the front-desk clerk did the government
ascertain Riley’s specific room number in order to arrest him. The GPS tracking thus provided
no greater insight into Riley’s whereabouts than what Riley exposed to public view as he
traveled “along public thoroughfares,” id. at 774, to the hotel lobby. Therefore, under Skinner,
Riley has no reasonable expectation of privacy against such tracking, and the district court
properly denied Riley’s motion to suppress evidence found upon Riley’s arrest.