In United States v. Carlocito Slim (No. 21-2693), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rejected the argument that an arrest by South Dakota law-enforcement officers was unreasonable because the officers lacked authority under state law to arrest the defendant for 8th Circuit Spotlighta federal crime. Regardless of South Dakota law, the court held, whether an arrest complies with the Fourth Amendment does not require reference to the arrest’s legality under state law; an arrest by state officers is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment if it is based on probable cause.

The case arises out of defendant Carlocito Slim’s convictions of two federal crimes: attempted commercial sex trafficking of a minor, and attempted enticement of a minor for sexual activity using a facility of interstate commerce. After viewing an online classified advertisement seemingly posted by a 20-year-old woman, Slim twice texted the ad’s number, asking whether the woman was available and whether she offered massages. Unbeknownst to Slim, the ad had been posted by a male South Dakota law-enforcement agent, and the images of the woman in the ad were of an adult female law-enforcement officer that had been altered to make her look younger.