Maine’s supreme court disagrees with a judge who suppressed cellphone data obtained from a warrant.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday set aside the judge’s decision. The judge had said search warrants weren’t supported by probable cause.

Chief Justice Leigh Saufley wrote in a unanimous decision that the search warrant request by detectives investigating burglaries involving multiple convicted criminals was legal.

But she was careful to note that ruling was limited in scope to the burglary investigation and limited cellphone data. She said the court was not addressing whether judges should assume cellphone evidence exists in all cases involving multiple defendants.

The ruling was prompted by the case of Michael J. Warner II, 40, of Portland. Warner was a suspect in 25 nighttime break-ins at businesses. Police estimated that the losses totaled more than $200,000.

The Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office appealed a judge’s ruling from last year that the affidavit filed in court to obtain a search warrant for Warner’s cellphone records did not provide sufficient probable cause.


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