Evidence containers from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were used during a raid on a journalist in Polk County, Minnesota.
by Timothy Charles Holmseth
When the East Grand Forks Police Department (EGFPD) entered the home-office of a local journalist with a Search Warrant to seize his hard-drive and equipment – they put ‘evidence’ in storage containers that came from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
On January 4, 2013 East Grand Forks City Attorney Ronald Galstad, told District Judge Tamara Yon the ‘Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’ would not perform a forensic search on Timothy Holmseth’s hard-drive without another warrant – assuring the Judge he would be making a request for the warrant.
Attorney Galstad proactively mentioned the BCA in more than one court hearing.
Indeed – between BCA evidence containers, and Galstad’s name dropping of the agency, the BCA presence was strong in the State of Minnesota vs. Timothy Holmseth.
But there is a problem.
According to the BCA – their agency played no role in the case whatsoever. “The BCA had no role in the investigation you describe and did not attach any tags to evidence in that case,” said Jill Oliveira, public information officer, Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
Emerging facts appear to reveal what is an unraveling hoax.
According to a report filed by Sgt. Michael Norland, special investigations, Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), he was given Holmseth’s hard-drive and two cell phones on December 15, 2012. “[Holmseth’s hard-drive and cell phones were] dropped off at our office by Officer Aeisso Schrage with the Pine-to-Prairie Task Force,” Norland said.
The use of a drug and violent crime task force to seize the journalism equipment of Holmseth, an award-winning newspaper reporter, creates many questions.
The Pine-to-Prairie Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional program funded by the State of Minnesota, U.S. Department of Justice, and Bureau of Justice Assistance that brings resources against major criminal operations involving drug trafficking and violent crime.
“There are no BCA personnel serving on that task force,” Oliveira said.
The un-authorized use of BCA stickers during the execution of the search warrant, and the use of drug and gang task force resources to obtain the warrant in the first place, has created serious questions about law enforcement’s obsession with the content of Holmseth’s hard-drive.
Sgt. Norland reports that on April 3, 2013 he searched Holmseth’s hard-drive but found no sign of illegal activity.
But again; there’s a problem.
The Polk County Investigator had no warrant to search the hard-drive.
The warrant-less search could also be described as a ‘secret’ search, because Investigator Norland used a special program called Write Blocker that does not register any changes on the hard-drive or operating system.
Holmseth did not learn about the search of his hard-drive until September 30, 2013 after he pushed the issue with EGF Police Chief Michael Hedlund during the grievance process.
Holmseth had a good reason for filing a grievance.
When the hard-drive was given back to Holmseth on April 26, 2013 it was inoperable. Wires had been pulled out inside the computer tower. Specialists at Best Buy, Inc. attempted to boot the hard-drive with no success.
Norland reports that he gave the hard-drive back to Officer Schrage, in full working order, after finding no sign of illegal activity. He states that on April 22, 2013 Officer Schrage returned the hard-drive to him and asked him to make a copy of it.
Serious questions exist about Schrage’s desire to have a copy of a hard-drive that contained no sign of illegal activity.
Another oddity of the case is the behavior of Chief Hedlund. On November 19, 2013 Holmseth requested all documents pertaining to the chain of custody of his property while it was in the possession of the EGFPD. Hedlund refuses to provide Holmseth the information.
Is it possible Timothy Holmseth was illegally targeted? Is it possible there was a plan to frame him?
In 2012, Holmseth submitted a detailed Affidavit of a plot that been described to him by Minnesota Public Defender Michael LaCoursiere. According to the Affidavit, Holmseth was told if he insisted on a jury trial, and would not accept an Alford plea, “Galstad” and the “cops” were going to eventually put him in “St. Cloud”.
Holmseth alerted authorities that Attorney LaCoursiere advised him that if he insisted on a jury trial, Galstad was going to call EGFPD Sgt. Chris Olson and PCSO Deputy Jesse Haugen to lie on the witness stand to obtain a conviction.
Holmseth’s complaint was forwarded by District Judge Tamara Yon to the Minnesota Lawyer’s Professional Responsibility Board.
In 2012, Holmseth also submitted a detailed report to United States Attorney B. Todd Jones detailing a web of corruption he discovered operating in East Grand Forks, Polk County, Minnesota Public Defender’s Office, and the Minnesota Guardian Ad Litem program.
Holmseth has been harassed and terrorized for over four years after conducting recorded interviews with members of a human trafficking apparatus. He was told who kidnapped HaLeigh Ann-Marie Cummings and an elaborate baby-brokering operation was explained to him in detail.
In 2011, Holmseth was telephoned and told he would be murdered by “mob boys” in Florida if he attended a court hearing to defend himself against an action taken against him by a stranger. He reported the threat to Lt. Rodney Hajicek, EGFPD. Hajicek took no action whatsoever.
Holmseth made a Data Privacy Act request for police incident reports to send to the Florida Judge. The EGFPD would not provide Holmseth the reports until the court hearing was over.
The Florida action, was then served upon Holmseth by the PCSO, and then became the ultimate basis for the EGFPD to falsely arrest Holmseth.
This is a developing story.
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