NCIS violates the Posse Comitatus Act–no problem

United States v. Dreyer.  A decision from the Ninth.

On issues arising from the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA), the en banc court affirmed the district court’s denial of a suppression motion, and remanded to the three-judge panel for consideration of remaining issues, in a case in which the defendant was convicted of one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.

A special agent of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) conducted an investigation into computers in Washington state sharing child pornography by utilizing a software query that encompassed the entire state but did not isolate or look for military service members. The investigation revealed that the defendant, a civilian, had shared child pornography files, and the NCIS passed that information along to the local police department.

The en banc court reaffirmed the holding in United States v. Chon, 210 F.3d 990 (9th Cir. 2000), that the NCIS and its civilian agents are subject to PCA-like restrictions proscribing direct assistance to civilian law enforcement.  The en banc court held that the NCIS agent’s investigation violated PCA-like restrictions[.]

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