Do select public officials in East Grand Forks and Polk County, Minnesota have ties to the notorious Web hackatvist group “Anonymous”?
And if so – did the officials leak information to assist in the malicious cyber-stalking of a local journalist that reported them to the FBI?
The answer to these questions rests within the bizarre facts and circumstances that befell a Minnesota author immediately after he conducted interviews regarding the kidnapping of a little girl from Florida named HaLeigh Cummings.
That author is me – Timothy Charles Holmseth.
The question is not as perplexing as it seems.
“Anonymous” is a loosely affiliated group of Web hactivists that have become internationally recognized for malicious mischief and hacking. They are infamous for hacking into the accounts of U.S. Congressmen, servers for the United States Department of Defense, FEMA, and the Department of Justice.
Anonymous fell under intense investigation by the FBI in 2012 after becoming involved in a rape case being prosecuted in Jefferson County, Ohio.
Angry about prosecutorial decisions regarding the sexual assault of a young girl by members of the local football team, Anonymous launched an assault against the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Steubenville Police Department, and County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Web group’s willingness to threaten and menace police officers was made clear when Steubenville Police Chief William McCafferty found his computer system disabled by an email attachment he opened. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla reported to the Attorney General that someone threatened to murder his family and rape his daughters.
Thriving amidst the Steubenville rape case controversy was an anonymously operated website called http://www.radionewz.net that published volatile information regarding the case; was critical of the police, and accused attorneys of being corrupt.
The website http://www.radionewz.net would harass and harangue the Ohio public officials as they moved forward with charges against two accused members of the football team.
The website http://www.radionewz.net would eventually become a nexus between cyber-stalker and public officials in Polk County, Minnesota.
The Minnesota Connection
The seemingly unlikely relationship between an interstate criminal operation and Minnesota officials was likely established by the hacktavist group’s overt willingness to aggressively confront and intimidate law enforcement in an area where they were committed to controlling the outcome of a situation.
Blackmail and extortion is a trademark tactic of Anonymous. The hacktavists enforce their demands through a method called “doxing” which involves obtaining extremely sensitive and private information about a target – and publishing it. A person that is doxed risks finding everything from their social security number, to court records, to embarrassing photographs, published on the Web.
The difference between the Minnesota and Ohio officials is the Ohio officials contacted the FBI, while Minnesota kept everything hush-hush, played ball, and tried to silence a witness – me.
Evidence of official misconduct in Polk County, Minnesota first surfaced in 2012 when http://www.radionewz.net began publishing sensitive information that was not public. The information originated from official complaints that had been quietly filed to the Minnesota Bar Association and FBI regarding a couple of lawyers and several police officers.
The Complaints named East Grand Forks City Attorney Ronald Galstad, State Public Defender Michael LaCoursiere, Lt. Detective Rodney Hajicek, and Sgt. Detective Chris Olson.
I filed them – and as you will see – for very good reason.
The disturbing reality that Minnesota law enforcement and public officials was cooperating with criminal elements requires we step back to 2009 where we will observe a catalyst event, and then an escalation of activities within the legal community of the 9th Minnesota Judicial District.
Signs of misconduct and unscrupulous behavior by police first surfaced in the spring of 2009, immediately after I conducted interviews with the media team and family members of the missing child HaLeigh Cummings.
Police records show that in June of 2009, Lt. Rod Hajicek, East Grand Forks Police Department (EGFPD), made a menacing phone call to me on behalf of a company called Xentel Inc.
Xentel Inc. is a company with a horrendous reputation and has been sued for fraud by Attorney General Offices across the United States. The Web is saturated with horror stories about the legally embattled scam operation and the fraudulent practices they employ.
Lt. Hajicek states in a Police Incident Report that he spoke with Donna Wagoner, Xentel, Florida. He states that Wagoner called the police to complain about me, and, she requested he telephone me, on behalf of Xentel, to advise me not to write about the Company.
The entry by Lt. Hajicek regarding me is the first real involvement the EGFPD ever had with me (aside from my forgetting to update the tabs on my license plate) – but it would only be the beginning of a civil rights holocaust that would engulf me and my children.
Police records show that Donna Wagoner turned out to be only one of many members of a close-knit group (hereby referred to as the Group) of individuals that suddenly began calling the EGFPD in 2009. Nearly every member of the Group worked for Crystal Sheffield, mother, HaLeigh Cummings.
When Hajicek telephoned me, he attempted to wave me off the story I was working on at that time. It was a story regarding a manipulated photograph of HaLeigh Cummings. The doctored photograph merged two human images together to create the false appearance Crystal Sheffield was holding her daughter HaLeigh, lovingly. It had been published on a website called http://www.haleighbug.com where donations were being solicited in the name of the missing child’s plight.
Donations scams are the proverbial trademark of Xentel.
Per the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, police departments are not free to telephone journalists and pressure them to stay away from a certain subject, but that is exactly what the EGFPD did.
I did not back off and subsequently submitted information I acquired about the chopped photograph to the Minneapolis FBI. I realized the person(s) that Photoshopped the picture may have information regarding the whereabouts of the missing child.
A public records request to the Polk County Attorney’s Office would later reveal Donna Wagoner’s close associate, Art Harris, emailed Lt. Hajicek and requested he arrange for my arrest. Harris was furious the FBI in Florida visited his friend, Donna Wagoner, at her place of employment (Xentel) regarding the photograph.
Harris was also the official media consultant for Crystal Sheffield and was appearing regularly on Nancy Grace and the HLN network to talk about the HaLeigh Cummings case.
Lt. Hajicek told Harris he couldn’t arrest me because publishing was a civil matter, but, appearing to be all ears, he assured Harris he would forward his concerns to the Polk County Attorney to see if there was anything Greg Widseth could do.
The idea that Lt. Hajicek was mulling over an innocent man’s arrest is only the tip of the iceberg, compared to events that would eventually unfold in East Grand Forks and Polk County, Minnesota.
For the next several years I received threatening phone calls and stern warnings from anonymous callers, some using voice changer software, threatening me great bodily harm. I was told to shut up about what I knew regarding the missing little girl.
I reported the threats and harassment to the EGFPD who would do absolutely nothing to investigate. When I executed multiple successful call traces on some of the calls the police still refused to investigate. When I contacted Police Chief Michael Hedlund regarding the matter he ignored me.
I received telephone calls from individuals that guaranteed me they could have the State of Minnesota take my children away from me. I was told to withdraw several complaints I had filed regarding professionals involved with the missing child case, or I would lose my parental rights.
It is notable that taking a child from a parent is the Modus Operandi of the Group that kidnapped HaLeigh Cummings from her father.
This ominous threat emerged as a quasi-reality in 2011 when a barrage of false child abuse complaints was suddenly filed against me, and an Ex Parte Motion to suspend my parenting-time was filed to the Family Court.
I was eventually cleared by Grand Forks County Child Protection Services after the esteemed team of CPS specialists, doctors, and psychologists unanimously signed off on an Affidavit – “No Services Required or Recommended – No Risk Factors for Abuse”.
Not one single checkmark was checked in the concern row.
But the original plan had already been executed.
Before the ink was dry on the original documents of the concocted child abuse story, it was published on http://www.radionewz.net. The anonymous publishers declared the ‘HaLeigh Cummings author’ a violent, dangerous, child abuser and conspiracy nut – mentally unstable – not to be believed.
My reputation as an award-winning newspaper reporter was dissipating quickly amidst online libel, slander, and Web radio programs that discussed me for hours at a time. I was described as a psychopath that jumped out of bushes in parks and raped old ladies. I was compared to the Rev. Jim Jones, Ted Bundy, and Jeffery Dahmer. There was no limit on the defamation, which included accusations of incest and child molestation upon an infant.
The online attack at http://www.radionewz.net that named my minor children, and published HIPPA protected records drew the ire of a Grand Forks forensic psychologist, who promptly telephoned Attorney Michael Jorgenson, Charlson & Jorgenson Law Office, Thief River Falls. He subsequently alerted Honorable Donna Dixon, Judge, 9th Minnesota District that information about minor children was being published on the Web.
But that was not the last we would see of http://www.radionewz.net. Nor would it be the last attempts on my child custody status/ parental rights, which kept coming, diabolically, from cynical depths, deep within the 9th Minnesota Judicial District.
Between 2009 and 2011 I had observed, and fallen victim to, corruption at the EGFPD at such a disturbing level I could easily articulate it using documents – and did.
In the spring of 2012, I provided a detailed statement of facts to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota regarding illegal activity I was observing between a Group in Florida and officials in Polk County, Minnesota.
In the winter of 2012, I submitted information to the Minnesota Bar Association after my public defender, Michael LaCoursiere, told me EGF City Attorney Ronald Galstad would have some police officers lie on the witness stand to gain a false conviction against me if I insisted on a jury trial.
Seeking to preserve the integrity of the Complaint I filed in the winter, I kept the entire affair to myself. Only the individuals I reported knew about the report, other than the Minnesota Bar Association and FBI.
Small facts and details contained in my Complaint began to emerge within the content being published on the x-rated website http://www.radionewz.net.
The content on http://www.radionewz.net is an extremely disturbing journey into the diabolically perverse. The site features photographs and depictions of people in various sexual positions. The anonymous publisher, a cyber-stalker, is clearly a sexual degenerate and obsessed with the concepts of masturbation, sex toys, sexual torture, toilet functions, anal sex, and rape.
The website talked about me and my children constantly, featured my photograph, as well as photographs of my entire family including my aging parents.
At the same time I had filed my complaint to authorities regarding the two lawyers, comments began appearing on http://www.radionewz.net referring to my allegations to the “FBI” regarding a “State’s Attorney”.
The State’s Attorney I complained about was Ronald Galstad. I that Attorney Michael LaCoursiere told me Galstad would have Sgt. Detective Chris Olson and Polk County Deputy Jesse Haugen lie on the stand if I didn’t take an Alford (no-contest) plea.
I had not made any of that information public.
Comments alluding to my Complaints against local officials continued to appear.
Because of the extremely subtle nature of the non-public information appearing on the website, regarding public officials in the 9th Minnesota District, there was no doubt but the anonymous publisher was directly communicating with officials in Northern Minnesota.
On April 15, 2013 approximately a dozen FBI agents raided the home of Deric Lostutter, Winchester, Kentucky. He was targeted by the feds for his involvement in Web crimes and hacking in the Steubenville Rape Case. His computer, hard-drive, and phones were seized. Lostutter would later admit he was a member of Anonymous that went by the name KY Anonymous.
The ripple effect of the FBI raid in Kentucky could be felt. When law enforcement seizes computer drives, they acquire a treasure trove of contact information and associates of the owner. It was the beginning of the end.
In the spring and summer of 2013, various Web programs, Twitter accounts, and attack websites that had regularly targeted me and my family began to disappear from the Web.
In the summer http://www.radionewz.net went offline.
If contact information, being gathered through spidering FBI raids, connects police, lawyers, and public officials in the 9th Minnesota Judicial District to http://www.radionewz.net the FBI already knows.