Trucker loses appeal in child-porn case

| 12/10/2004

A former contract truck driver for C.R. England who was convicted on 10 felony counts in a child pornography case has lost his appeal and remains in prison.

Romie Henry Miller, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor for possession of more than 150 child porn photos, contends that his rights to privacy were violated when police seized his briefcase, which he had left in the sleeper of the C.R. England truck he had leased, according to reports from The Associated Press and the Desert Morning News.

A Utah Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 26 that Miller’s rights had not been violated and agreed with the prosecutors’ argument that there should not have been any expectation of privacy.

“Defendant’s expectation of privacy in the briefcase and its contents was lost after various C.R. England employees opened the briefcase, searched the materials inside and invited law enforcement officers to examine it,” the court’s ruling stated.

The appeals court ruling also stated that any search by a private individual who is not acting as an agent of the government extinguishes an individual’s expectation of privacy.

A C.R. England employee found Miller’s briefcase in the sleeper of a truck he had leased. His lease had expired and he was in the process of moving his personal belongings to another truck when the photos were found, The AP reported.

At his trial, Miller claimed that he had been collecting the photos for federal investigators and that they were not for his own use. Court documents stated stacks of pornography also were found by a maid in a motel room where Miller was staying.