Illegal ‘sneak and peek’ of journalist’s hard-drive ordered by superiors?
by Timothy Charles Holmseth
In 2012 Timothy Charles Holmseth (this reporter throughout) contacted United States Attorney B. Todd Jones and advised the federal authorities that select officials in Polk County, Minnesota were out of control.
I hate to say I told you so… but…
Between December, 2012 and September, 2013 the East Grand Forks Police Department (EGFPD) and Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) carefully kept a secret.
They had been sifting through a computer hard-drive they seized from Holmseth after he reported them to feds.
Agents of the EGFPD and PCSO used a special computer program to secretly view the contents of Holmseth’s computer. It had been seized using a Search Warrant that only allowed they “retain” the hard-drive in custody.
Law enforcement knew for a fact they did not have authorization to enter into the hard-drive and search it.
That factual assertion is based up the following.
In January 4, 2013, EGFPD City Attorney Ronald Galstad advised Honorable Tamara Yon in open court that the “Bureau of Criminal Apprehension” would not search Timothy Holmseth’s hard-drive without another “warrant” directing such a search – noting to the Judge he would be seeking the warrant.
There is no record of any such warrant being issued.
In a letter dated September 30, 2013 from EGF Police Chief Michael Hedlund to Holmseth, Hedlund advised Holmseth his investigators had searched the hard-drive using a special program that made no changes to it.
During a hearing on November 25, 2013 Sgt. Michael Norland, special investigations, PCSO testified in court that in March of 2013 he searched Holmseth’s hard-drive at the request of an EGFPD officer, Aeisso Shrage.
Norland noted he found nothing illegal on the hard-drive.
When the hard-drive was returned to Holmseth Officer Shrage, wires had been pulled out and the hard-drive would not function.