An FBI agent did not need a warrant to answer a suspect’s cellular telephone that was seized pursuant to his arrest and started ringing while the defendant was being processed, a Manhattan federal judge has declared in a ruling of first impression.

While acknowledging that the defendant had a privacy interest in calls to his telephone, Southern District Judge Michael B. Mukasey said that the “myriad of duties” performed by agents between arrest and arraignment excused them from the obligation to get a warrant in such a situation.

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