Freemont Weeks was suspected by the federal government of using the US Mail to sell lottery tickets. This was and is a federal crime. Weeks was arrested and federal agents went to Weeks home to conduct a search for evidence. At this time federal agents did not routinely secure warrants before conducting a search. While conducting the search, the agents seized evidence, and as well, they took items that were personal in nature (clothes, papers, books, and candy)
Before the case went to trial, Weeks' attorney requested that all the personal items taken by the agents be returned.
Week's attorney claimed the materials had been taken illegally.
The Judge agreed with Weeks and ordered the personal property returned. However, based on the evidence that was retained, Weeks was found guilty, and subsequently sent to prison.
His attorney appealed the case to the US Supreme Court, arguing that if some of Weeks' belongings were taken illegally then all of it was taken illegally.
The Court agreed and overturned Weeks' conviction.