A U.S. court ruled Monday that a cellphone used by a man accused of planning an attack on New York City’s subway system is a legitimate weapon.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office said the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 23, was one of the first to be prosecuted under a law that allows law enforcement to seize a cellphone without warrants.
It is part of a broader federal law that seeks to crack down on terrorists and other criminals using stolen cellphones.
Tsarnaev was arrested in April after authorities say he left the phone at a Boston subway station.
The phone’s owner was arrested and charged with obstructing a federal investigation.
Tsavksy, the owner of the phone, says the government lied about his identity and his knowledge of its owner.
He says authorities pressured him to testify against his former employer.
The FBI says it found the phone in the trash in the Bronx on April 17.
The FBI says Tsarnaev bought the phone for $1,200, paid cash and returned the device to its seller after he was arrested.
Tsavalksy says authorities did not show up at his house after the phone was returned.
The Brooklyn District Court ruled in June that a search warrant for the phone should have been issued.
The ruling comes amid a national debate over the legality of cellphone use after the shooting deaths of two police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last week.