Joseph Burger was the owner of a junkyard in Brooklyn, New York. His business consisted, in part, of dismantling automobiles and selling their parts. The state of New York enacted a statute that requires automobile junkyards to keep certain records. The statute authorizes warrantless searches of vehicle dismantlers and automobile junkyards without prior notice. One day, five plain-clothes officers of the Auto Crimes Division of the New York City Police Department entered Burger’s junkyard to conduct a surprise inspection. Burger did not have either a license to conduct the business or records of the automobiles and vehicle parts on his premises, as required by state law. After conducting an inspection of the premises, the officers determined that Burger was in possession of stolen vehicles and parts. He was arrested and charged with criminal possession of stolen property. Burger moved to suppress the evidence. Did Burger act ethically in trying to suppress the evidence? Does the warrantless search of an automobile junkyard pursuant to a state statute that authorizes such a search constitute an unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? Explain your answer.
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