Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Western District of Michigan at Grand Rapids.
No. 1:18-cr-00192-1—Robert J. Jonker, District Judge.
Argued: May 8, 2020
Decided and Filed: July 21, 2020
Before: SUHRHEINRICH, BUSH, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.
JOHN K. BUSH, Circuit Judge. Raheim Trice entered a conditional guilty plea to one
count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(viii), (B)(iii), and (C). He conditioned his plea on this appeal challenging
the warrant issued to search his apartment. Law enforcement officers entered the common area
of his apartment building and placed a camera disguised as a smoke detector on the wall across
the hallway from the front door of his unit. The camera was equipped with a motion detector
and set to activate whenever the door to his apartment opened. The camera made several videos
of Trice entering and exiting, and this information was used in an affidavit in support of the
search warrant. Law enforcement executed the warrant and seized drugs and other paraphernalia
consistent with distribution. Trice contends that the use of the camera violated his Fourth
We disagree because Trice’s arguments are squarely foreclosed by two lines of authority
from this court. The first makes clear that he had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the
apartment’s unlocked common hallway where the camera recorded the footage. The second
teaches that law enforcement may use video to record what police could have seen from a
publicly accessible location. Although the camera was placed inside an apartment building
rather than on a utility pole (as is more typical), we are compelled by this authority to allow use
of the video. The camera captured nothing beyond the fact of Trice’s entry and exit into the
apartment and did not provide law enforcement any information they could not have learned
through ordinary visual surveillance. We AFFIRM.