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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Ohlin
Kyllo v. United States
Citation:533 U.S. 27 (2001)
In 1991 Agent William Elliot of the United States Department of the Interior came to suspect that marijuana was being grown in the home belonging to petitioner Danny Kyllo. Indoor marijuana growth typically requires high-intensity lamps. In order to determine whether an amount of heat was emanating from petitioner’s home consistent with the use of such lamps, Agent Elliot and Dan Haas used a thermal imager to scan the triplex. Thermal imagers detect infrared radiation, which virtually all objects emit but which is not visible to the naked eye. The scan showed that the roof over the garage and a side wall of petitioner’s home were relatively hot compared to the rest of the home. Agent Elliot concluded that petitioner was using halide lights to grow marijuana in his house. Based on tips, a federal magistrate judge issued a warrant and petitioner was indicted on one count of manufacturing marijuana. He unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence seized from his home
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