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State v. Steele

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

August 29, 2017

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
THOMAS STEELE

          Argued April 18, 2017

          James B. Streeto, senior assistant public defender, with whom, on the brief, was Maria V. Morse, certified legal intern, for the appellant (defendant).

          Rocco A. Chiarenza, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Kevin D. Lawlor, state's attorney, and Amy L. Bepko, assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

          Alvord, Sheldon and Norcott, Js.

         Syllabus

         Convicted of the crimes of robbery in the first degree, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree in connection with his conduct in robbing a bank, the defendant appealed to this court. He challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to support his robbery conviction and also claimed, inter alia, that the trial court improperly admitted lay testimony from a detective, D, concerning historic cell site analysis, a certain process that utilizes cell phone records and cell site locations to identify the location of cell phones at a particular time. Specifically, he claimed that the court should have qualified D as an expert witness before permitting him to testify about how he used the defendant's cell phone records to determine his whereabouts before, during and after the bank robbery.

         Held:

1. There was sufficient evidence presented at trial to support the defendant's conviction of robbery in the first degree as a principal: the jury reasonably could have credited the testimony of M, the defendant's friend, that the defendant had told M that he robbed a bank but discredited M's testimony that she understood him to be joking, and the state presented a variety of direct and circumstantial evidence that created a connection between the physical attributes and possessions of the robber and the defendant, including, inter alia, surveillance footage of the robbery, eyewitness testimony describing what the robber was wearing, which matched other surveillance footage that depicted the defendant wearing similar clothing, and evidence of the defendant's purchase of a BB gun like the one used in the robbery; moreover, although the evidence was not inconsistent with the defendant being the getaway driver instead of the robber, a reasonable view of the evidence supported a finding that the defendant acted as a principal during the robbery, which was the only theory of liability the state pursued at trial and on which the court instructed the jury.
2. The trial court abused its discretion by not requiring D to be qualified as an expert witness before allowing him to testify regarding historic cell site analysis: although that analysis is not extremely difficult to understand, the analytical process involved therein is beyond the ken of the average juror, as call detail records can be used to determine the approximate location of a cell phone at the time of a particular communication by determining the geographical coverage area of the cell sector used to facilitate that communication, and that process of determining the coverage area requires scientific and technical knowledge, which would require a trial court, prior to admitting such testimony, to conduct a hearing to ensure that the testimony was based on a reliable scientific methodology, and contrary to the state's claim, D did not merely read from a document that was already in evidence, he explained how cell phones and cell sites operate and, thus, broached the realm of expert testimony; nevertheless, the admission of D's testimony was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, as the state presented substantial evidence of the defendant's involvement in the bank robbery, including his admission to M that he robbed a bank, and D's testimony was largely cumulative of other direct and circumstantial evidence establishing the defendant's locations before, during and after the robbery.
3. The defendant's conviction of and sentences on the charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit larceny, having arisen out of a single agreement to rob the bank, violated his right against double jeopardy; accordingly, his conviction of both conspiracy charges could not stand.

         Procedural History

         Substitute information charging the defendant with of the crimes of robbery in the first degree, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Ansonia-Milford and tried to the jury before Markle, J.; verdict and judgment of guilty, from which the defendant appealed to this court. Reversed in part; judgment directed.

          OPINION

          ALVORD, J.

         The defendant, Thomas Steele, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes§ 53a-134 (a) (4), conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 (a) and 53a-134 (a) (4), and conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 (a) and 53a-124 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him of robbery in the first degree; (2) the trial court abused its discretion and violated his rights under the confrontation clause of the sixth and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution when it permitted a detective to testify about historic cell site analysis without being qualified as an expert witness; and (3) his cumulative conviction and sentences for conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit larceny violate the double jeopardy clause of the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution. We agree with the defendant that his cumulative convictions and sentences for conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit larceny violate the double jeopardy, but we reject the defendant's other claims. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment in part and affirm the judgment in part.

         On the basis of the evidence presented at trial, the jury reasonably could have found the following facts. In the early morning hours of Saturday, February 16, 2013, the defendant checked into a Comfort Inn in Naugatuck and paid the required $100 deposit in cash. Later that morning, at approximately 9:30 a.m., the defendant purchased a Beretta Airsoft BB gun (facsimile firearm), which looked like a Beretta style handgun, at a Walmart in Derby. Thereafter, the defendant returned to the Comfort Inn to check out. Caitlin Mitchell and an unidentified black male accompanied the defendant during the checkout process. When he was informed that he had to wait for housekeeping to check his room before his cash deposit would be refunded, the defendant became irate, insisting that he had to be somewhere and threatening to call the police if his deposit was not returned. Eventually, the hotel manager calmed the defendant down while the checkout process was completed. At approximately 11:30 a.m., after the hotel manager was informed that the defendant's room was in order, she placed the defendant's deposit on the counter beside her while she printed a receipt for the defendant. The defendant reached over the counter, grabbed the money, and left with Mitchell and the unidentified black male before the hotel manager could complete the checkout process. After exiting the hotel, all three individuals entered the defendant's green Cadillac Deville and left.[1]

         At 11:54 a.m., the defendant ran into the Webster Bank in Seymour while wearing dark blue jeans, a black ski mask, and grey gloves. He pointed his facsimile firearm at Tara Weiss, the assistant bank manager, and ordered everybody ‘‘[to] get to the fucking floor.'' After the bank employees and customers complied with his order, the defendant jumped onto and then over the teller counter and aimed his facsimile firearm at Danielle George, a bank teller. He ordered her to open her cash drawer and place the money in the bag he provided. As George complied with his order, another teller behind the counter began to move. The defendant aimed his facsimile firearm at the other teller and told her ‘‘not to be a hero . . . .'' The defendant returned his attention to George. George continued to put money in the defendant's bag and managed to place a dye pack in the bag as well.[2] When George finished, the defendant took the bag and exited the bank.

         On June 4, 2013, the defendant was arrested for his role in the bank robbery. In the operative information, the defendant was charged with robbery in the first degree, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree. After a trial, a jury found the defendant guilty of all counts. The defendant was sentenced to a total effective sentence often years of incarceration followed by four years of special parole.[3] This appeal followed. Additional facts will be set forth as necessary.

         I

         We begin with the defendant's claim that there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him of robbery in the first degree as a principal, which was the only theory of liability the state pursued at trial and on which the court instructed the jury. The state responds that, when viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the verdict, there was sufficient circumstantial evidence for a jury to reasonably conclude that the defendant acted as a principal during the robbery. We agree with the state.

         The following additional facts are relevant to this claim. As the robber exited the bank, he ordered Weiss to count to 100. Weiss initially complied and began counting. Once the robber left the bank, however, she jumped up, ran to the doors, and locked them. Weiss then returned to her station, pressed the bank's panic alarm, and called 911. After speaking with a 911 operator, Weiss reported the robbery to Webster Bank's emergency hotline and to the branch manager, Jason Rodriguez, who was in New York. Rodriguez immediately began driving back to Connecticut from New York. State and federal law enforcement personnel arrived at the bank shortly thereafter and obtained, inter alia, surveillance footage of the robbery. Surveillance footage from inside the bank revealed that the robber wore dark blue jeans, grey gloves, and a black ski mask. Surveillance footage from outside the bank revealed that a green vehicle, which was similar in appearance to the defendant's Cadillac, entered the bank parking lot shortly before the robbery and picked up an individual on Spruce Street shortly after the robbery.[4]

         After leaving the bank, the robber and his companion(s) initially drove north on Route 8, stopping in Beacon Falls to dispose of the discharged dye pack and the cash that was burned when the dye pack discharged. Shortly thereafter, members of law enforcement, with the assistance of a pedestrian, recovered the dye pack and some of the burned and stained cash from an area near the Beacon Falls Police Department.

         Later that day, at approximately 2 p.m., the defendant and an unidentified black male were traveling northbound on Route 8 when they stopped to dispose of a facsimile firearm by throwing it onto the embankment along the side of the highway. Unbeknownst to the defendant and his companion, Rodriguez, who was also traveling northbound on Route 8 on his way to the bank, observed this conduct. When he neared the defendant's Cadillac, he immediately noticed that it was being driven erratically. In response, he slowed down and watched as the Cadillac swerved into the breakdown lane, where he saw the driver throw an object over the roof of the Cadillac and onto the embankment. Because of the suspicious nature of this conduct and his knowledge of the recent robbery at his bank branch, Rodriguez used his cell phone to record his observations, including the vehicle's make, color, and license plate number and a brief physical description of the men in the driver's and front passenger's seats.[5] He then reported the incident to the police. Shortly thereafter, officers recovered a black Beretta style facsimile firearm from the Route 8 embankment near the Bridgeport-Trumbull line. Notably, the tip of the recovered facsimile firearm was covered with black electrical tape.

         Shortly after the incident along Route 8, the defendant purchased professional strength Goo Off and rubber cleaning gloves with cash at the Home Depot in Derby. He then proceeded to the Post Motor Inn in Milford where he rented a cabin in his own name and paid for it in cash. The following morning, February 17, 2013, the defendant checked into the Super 8 Motel in Milford with Mitchell, paying for the room with cash.

         That evening, a patrol officer reported that she had located the Cadillac involved in the Webster Bank robbery in the Super 8 Motel parking lot. Shortly thereafter, officers investigating the bank robbery arrived. After speaking to the employees at the front desk of the motel and reviewing its surveillance footage, the officers determined that the defendant was associated with the Cadillac and that he was staying in room 206. After about fifteen minutes of knocking on the defendant's door, the defendant came to the window of his room but refused to open the door. He denied ever being in Seymour or knowing anything about the Cadillac in the parking lot, claiming that a friend had dropped him off at the motel. When the detectives asked him whether he knew anything about a bank robbery, he stated that he did not, but added that ‘‘if [the officers] had enough information on him, [they] would be arresting him right now.'' Members of the Milford Police Department then detained the defendant and Mitchell in the lobby of the Super 8 Motel. When special agent Lisa C. McNamara of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived, she attempted to talk to Mitchell, but the defendant kept yelling at her: ‘‘Don't talk to them, you don't have to talk to them, your parents have to be present, you don't have to talk to them.'' As a result, McNamara brought Mitchell outside of the lobby and they sat in an unmarked police cruiser so that they could talk without the defendant hearing.

         Officers subsequently seized several items from the Super 8 Motel. From the defendant and Mitchell's vacated room, they seized a hotel room key for the room that the defendant had rented at the Comfort Inn. From the hotel staff, they obtained surveillance footage, which showed the defendant arriving at the motel in his Cadillac and checking into his room. Notably, during the course of check-in, the defendant could be seen removing several folded bundles of cash from his pants pockets and using that cash to pay for his room. Because the defendant paid in cash, officers further seized from the Super 8 Motel seventy dollars that was stained with red dye, which they believed that the defendant used to pay for the room. Subsequent forensic tests confirmed the presence of chemicals used in bank dye packs on the stained cash.

         In addition to retrieving several items from the Super 8 Motel staff, officers seized and searched the defendant's Cadillac. In the Cadillac, officers found five pairs of grey latex gloves, receipts from Walmart and Home Depot, and a roll of black electrical tape. The latex gloves that were recovered from the Cadillac's glove box were similar in appearance to the ones worn by the individual who had robbed the Webster Bank. The Walmart receipt helped the officers obtain surveillance footage from Walmart, which confirmed that on the morning of the robbery the defendant, who was wearing dark blue jeans, arrived at Walmart in his Cadillac and purchased a facsimile firearm of the same make and model as the one recovered from the embankment along Route 8. Subsequent forensic tests revealed that the electrical tape found in the defendant's Cadillac was indistinguishable from the electrical tape found on the facsimile firearm recovered from the embankment along Route 8.

         Because the defendant appeared to lead a transient lifestyle in which he frequently moved from motel to motel, officers checked with hotels and motels in the area to determine whether he had stayed in them after the robbery. When they arrived at the Post Motor Inn, they learned that the defendant had checked into a cabin at 2:51 p.m. on the day of the robbery. On his registration card, the defendant had listed two people in his party and had noted his vehicle's make and license plate number. The officers noticed that the sink in the defendant's cabin was tinted red and that the snow behind the cabin was stained red. They took samples of the stained snow. In the tree line near the cabin, the officers found a garbage bag, which contained, inter alia, rubber gloves similar to those the defendant had purchased at Home Depot, towels with red stains on them, and an empty bottle of soap. A Post Motor Inn employee also gave them a black ski mask that he had found in the snowbank approximately thirty feet from the defendant's cabin. Subsequent forensic tests confirmed that the gloves and towels retrieved from the garbage bag and the seized samples of stained snow contained traces of the chemicals used in bank dye packs.

         Finally, at trial, Mitchell testified that on the weekend of the robbery she had seen the defendant in possession of ‘‘a substantial amount of money'' and cleaning ‘‘red stuff'' off his Cadillac. Mitchell also testified that the defendant had told her that he ‘‘robbed a bank . . . .'' Mitchell maintained that when the defendant stated that he robbed a bank, he did so ‘‘jokingly'' and, as a result, she did not take him seriously. She admitted, however, that the defendant was her friend and that ‘‘I don't want to be here with this, '' i.e., ‘‘to testify against someone that was close to me . . . .'' After the parties rested and presented closing arguments, the court instructed the jury. With respect to the charge of robbery in the first degree, the court instructed the jury only on principal liability.

         ‘‘The standard of review we apply to a claim of insufficient evidence is well established. In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support a criminal conviction we apply a two-part test. First, we construe the evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the verdict. Second, we determine whether upon the facts so construed and the inferences reasonably drawn therefrom the [finder of fact] reasonably could have concluded that the cumulative force of the evidence established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. . . .

         ‘‘We note that the jury must find every element proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to find the defendant guilty of the charged offense, [but] each of the basic and inferred facts underlying those conclusions need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. . . . If it is reasonable and logical for the jury to conclude that a basic fact or an inferred fact is true, the jury is permitted to consider the fact proven and may consider it in combination with other proven facts in determining whether the cumulative effect of all the evidence proves the defendant guilty of all the elements of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. . . .

         ‘‘Moreover, it does not diminish the probative force of the evidence that it consists, in whole or in part, of evidence that is circumstantial rather than direct. . . . It is not one fact, but the cumulative impact of a multitude of facts which establishes guilt in a case involving substantial circumstantial evidence. . . . In evaluating evidence, the [finder] of fact is not required to accept as dispositive those inferences that are consistent with the defendant's innocence. . . . The [finder of fact] may draw whatever inferences from the evidence or facts established by the evidence it deems to be reasonable and logical. . . .

         ‘‘Finally, [a]s we have often noted, proof beyond a reasonable doubt does not mean proof beyond all possible doubt . . . nor does proof beyond a reasonable doubt require acceptance of every hypothesis of innocence posed by the defendant that, had it been found credible by the [finder of fact], would have resulted in an acquittal. . . . On appeal, we do not ask whether there is a reasonable view of the evidence that would support a reasonable hypothesis of innocence. We ask, instead, whether there is a reasonable view of the evidence that supports the [finder of fact's] verdict of guilty.'' (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Crespo, 317 Conn. 1, 16-17, 115 A.3d 447 (2015).

         We conclude that there was sufficient evidence presented at trial to support the defendant's conviction of robbery in the first degree. First, Mitchell testified that the defendant told her that he ‘‘robbed a bank . . . .'' On the basis of this testimony, the jury could have concluded that when the defendant said that he ‘‘robbed a bank, '' he meant that he personally had robbed a bank. The defendant, relying on the corpus delicti doctrine, argues that Mitchell's testimony cannot support his conviction because his purported confession is uncorroborated. The purpose of the corpus delicti doctrine, however, is to protect against convictions for offenses that have not in fact occurred. State v. Farnum, 275 Conn. 26, 33-34, 878 A.2d 1095 (2005). The corpus delicti doctrine has no bearing on the present case because it is undisputed that the Webster Bank in Seymour was robbed on February 16, 2013; indeed, it is undisputed on appeal that the defendant was one of the individuals who conspired to rob the bank.

         The defendant further suggests that Mitchell's testimony cannot support his conviction because Mitchell testified that she did not take the defendant seriously when he said that he ‘‘robbed a bank . . . .'' A jury may properly decide, however, ‘‘what-all, none, or some-of a witness' testimony to accept or reject.'' (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Victor C., 145 Conn.App. 54, 61, 75 A.3d 48, cert. denied, 310 Conn. 933, 78 A.3d 859 (2013). The jury in this case very well could have credited Mitchell's testimony that the defendant told her that he robbed a bank but discredited her testimony that she understood him to be joking. Mitchell admitted that the defendant was her friend and that she did not want ‘‘to testify against someone that was close to [her].'' The jury reasonably could have concluded, therefore, that Mitchell characterized the defendant's statement as a joke because of her desire to protect him.

         The defendant's robbery conviction, however, is not supported solely by Mitchell's testimony. At trial, the state presented a variety of direct and circumstantial evidence creating a connection between the physical attributes and possessions of the robber and the defendant. The jury had before it surveillance footage of the robbery. When determining if the defendant was the robber, the jurors could have compared surveillance footage of the robber with other surveillance footage of the defendant and their own observations of the defendant in court to determine if there was a physical resemblance between the robber and the defendant. Additionally, the bank surveillance footage and eyewitness testimony established that the robber possessed a black firearm and was wearing dark blue jeans, grey gloves, and a black ski mask. Walmart surveillance footage depicted the defendant wearing dark blue jeans on the morning of the robbery. The receipt and surveillance footage from Walmart further established that while at Walmart the defendant personally purchased a black facsimile firearm, which was the same make and model as the facsimile firearm an individual driving a Cadillac disposed of later that afternoon by throwing it onto an embankment alongside of Route 8. Five pairs of grey latex gloves similar to those worn by the robber were recovered from the Cadillac's glove compartment, and a black ski mask similar to the one worn by the robber was recovered from a snowbank approximately thirty feet from the defendant's cabin at the Post Motor Inn.

         Although it can be argued that this evidence is not inconsistent with the defendant being the getaway driver instead of the robber, ‘‘[i]n reviewing a sufficiency of the evidence claim . . . we do not ask whether there is a reasonable view of the evidence that would support a reasonable hypothesis of innocence. We ask, instead, whether there is a reasonable view of the evidence that supports the jury's verdict of guilty.'' (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Silva, 285 Conn. 447, 459, 939 A.2d 581 (2008). Mindful that in determining the sufficiency of the evidence we consider its cumulative effect and construe the evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the verdict, we determine that there was sufficient evidence presented at trial to support the defendant's conviction of robbery in the first degree.

         II

         The defendant next claims that the court improperly admitted lay testimony concerning historic cell site analysis.[6] Specifically, the defendant argues that the court should have qualified Detective Steven Ditria as an expert witness before permitting him to testify about how he used the defendant's cell phone records to determine his whereabouts before, during, and after the bank robbery. The defendant further contends that this evidentiary error obstructed his rights under the confrontation clause because Ditria's lack of training, education, or experience with cell phones, cellular networks, and cell site analysis prevented him from being meaningfully cross-examined on this evidence.[7] The defendant seeks review of this unpreserved constitutional claim pursuant to State v. Golding, 213 Conn. 233, 567 A.2d 823 (1989); see also In re Yasiel R., 317 Conn. 773, 781, 120 A.3d 1188 (2015) (modifying third condition of Golding).[8] The state responds that Ditria merely read from a document that was already in evidence, i.e., the defendant's cell phone records and instructions from the cellular carrier on interpreting those records, and, thus, his testimony was factual, not opinion.[9] Alternatively, the state argues that any error in the admission of this testimony was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. We agree with the defendant that the court abused its discretion by not requiring Ditria to be qualified as an expert witness, but we agree with the state that this error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, the defendant's constitutional claim fails under the fourth prong of Golding. See State v. Dixon, 318 Conn. 495, 511, 122 A.3d 542 (2015).

         A

         To understand the significance of the trial court's decision to permit a lay witness to testify about historic cell site analysis, it is first necessary to understand the manner in which cell phones and cellular networks operate. Although the trial court did not have the benefit of such information when it made its evidentiary ruling, we share the view of our sister courts that such information is essential to understanding how historic cell site data is generated and what inferences that data supports concerning the locations of a cell phone, and by inference its user, during a communication. E.g., State v. Payne, 440 Md. 680, 690-98, 104 A.3d 142 (2014); Collins v. State, 172 So.3d 724, 740-41 (Miss. 2015); State v. Patton, 419 S.W.3d 125, 130-31 (Mo. App. 2013); State v. Johnson, 797 S.E.2d 557, 561-62 ( W.Va. 2017); see, e.g., Commonwealth v. Augustine, 467 Mass. 230, 236-39, 4 N.E.3d 846 (2014) (reviewing cell phone technology prior to determining whether police were required to obtain search warrant to obtain information from defendant's cell phone service provider); State v. Earls, 214 N.J. 564, 574-78, 70 A.3d 630 (2013) (same). We will rely in this overview on information and materials relied on by our sister courts when discussing cellular network technology or cell site analysis.

         Cell phones are essentially sophisticated two way radios that use cellular networks comprised of cell sites[10] and radio frequency (RF) antennae to communicate with one another. State v. Payne, supra, 440 Md. 692; J. Beck et al., ‘‘The Use of Global Positioning (GPS) and Cell Tower Evidence to Establish a Person's Location-Part II, '' 49 Crim. L. Bull. Art. 8, 2 (2013). A cell site is the fixed location that provides cellular coverage using RF antennae, a base station, and other network equipment. J. Beck et al., supra, 3. The geographical coverage area of a cell site is called a cell sector.[11] See United States v. Bohannon, 824 F.3d 242, 256 (2d Cir. 2016), cert. denied, U.S., 137 S.Ct. 628, 196 L.Ed.2d 517 (2017). The shape and size of a cell sector is variable and depends on several external and internal factors. External factors include the surrounding environment and geography, e.g., the location of buildings, vehicles, vegetation, and land masses, which might prevent the RF signal from propagating in a uniform and uninterrupted manner. State v. Payne, supra, 693-94; A. Blank, ‘‘The Limitations and Admissibility of Using Historical Cellular Site Data to Track the Location of a Cellular Phone, '' 18 Rich. J.L. & Tech. 3, 6-7 (2011); see generally T. Singal, Wireless Communications 35- 65, 100 (2011) (discussing propagation patterns of radio frequency signals). Internal factors include the technical characteristics of the cell site and the RF antennae. State v. Payne, supra, 693; A. Blank, supra, 4-6.

         There are four types of cell sites generally used by cellular companies: macrocells, microcells, picocells, and femtocells. M. Harris, Unison, How Cell Towers Work 2-3 (2011), available at www.unisonsite.com/pdf /resource-center/How%20Towers%20Work.pdf (last visited August 23, 2017) (hereinafter M. Harris, How Cell Towers Work); Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act: Hearing on H.R. 2168 before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations of the House Committee on the Judiciary, 113th Cong. 45, 54-55 (2013) (written testimony of Matthew Blaze, associate professor of computer and information science, University of Pennsylvania), available at https://judiciary.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/ 2016/02/113-34-80542.pdf (last visited August 23, 2017) (hereinafter Blaze testimony); see also United States v. Davis, 785 F.3d 498, 542 (11th Cir.), cert. denied, ___U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct. 479, 193 L.Ed.2d 349 (2015). Macrocells are prototypical ‘‘cell towers, '' although they can be attached to a structure, and can cover an area often miles in diameter or more in rural areas where there is less signal interference. M. Harris, How Cell Towers Work, supra, 3; Blaze testimony, supra, 54; see also Sprint Spectrum L.P. v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, 21 F.Supp.3d 381, 391 (D.N.J. 2014), aff'd, 606 Fed.Appx. 669 (3d Cir. 2015). Microcells typically are used in urban or suburban settings to cover an area that is less than one mile in diameter. M. Harris, How Cell Towers Work, supra, 3. A picocell is a small base station that acts like an extension cord, extending the macrocell's or microcell's signal through high traffic or obstructed areas and covering an area of less than 250 yards in diameter. Id.; M. Harris, Unison, Think Small: Micro, Pico and Femto Cell Sites 2 (2011), available at http://www.unisonsite.com/pdf/resource-center/Think-%20Small%20Unison-whitepaper-7D.pdf (last visited August 23, 2017) (hereinafter M. Harris, Think Small). Finally, a femtocell is like a booster pack; it uses a broadband Internet connection to ‘‘backhaul'' mobile calls and data traffic into a wireless carrier's existing cellular network. M. Harris, Think Small, supra, 2; see also EON Corp IP Holdings LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 36 F.Supp.3d 912, 923 (N.D. Cal. 2014), aff'd, 595 Fed.Appx. 991 (Fed. Cir. 2015). The coverage range of these devices is similar to that of a cordless phone base. M. Harris, How Cell Towers Work, supra, 3; M. Harris, Think Small, supra, 2; Blaze testimony, supra, 55; see also United States v. Davis, supra, 503-504 n.7.

         Each of the four types of cell sites contains, inter alia, a base station and at least one RF antenna. M. Harris, How Cell Towers Work, supra, 2, 6. An RF antenna can be omnidirectional or multidirectional. An omnidirectional antenna is intended to service the entire, 360 degree area around a cell site. T. Singal, supra, p. 100; M. Harris, How Cell Towers Work, supra, 5-6; see also Ruckus Wireless, Inc. v.Netgear, Inc., Docket No. C 08-2310 PJH, 2013 WL 6627737, *1, *4 (N.D. Cal. December 16, 2013). The idealized cell sector of a cell site with an omnidirectional antenna is a hexagon with the cell site at the center.[12] E.g., T. Singal, supra, pp. 99-100; M. Harris, How Cell Towers Work, supra, 5. In contrast, directional antennae are intended to service only small portions of the area around a cell site. For example, a cellular carrier might use three directional antennae with beam widths set at 120 degrees in order to achieve 360 degrees of coverage around a cell site. Collins v.State, supra, 172 So.3d 740; J. Beck et al., supra, 49 Crim. L. Bull. Art. 8, 3; see also T. O'Connor, ‘‘Provider Side Cell Phone Forensics, '' 3 Small Scale Digital Device Forensics J. 1 (2009) (discussing and depicting typical cell site and antenna configurations), available at http://ctfdatapro.com/pdf/celltower.pdf (last visited August 23, 2017). With this configuration, the idealized cell sector is a wedge, with a center angle of 120 degrees, emanating out from the cell site. E.g., State v.Payne, supra, 440 Md. 724 (appendix C); T. O'Malley, ‘‘Using Historical Cell Site ...


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