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Kansas attorney withdraws search warrant against raided newspaper

Items were returned after a warrant that lead to the raid of the offices of a Kansas newspaper, and others connected, was withdrawn.
Kansas attorney withdraws search warrant against raided newspaper
Posted at 12:59 PM, Aug 16, 2023

A search warrant that cleared the way for the raid of a Kansas newspaper last Friday has been withdrawn, according to Scripps News Kansas City.

Marion County Attorney Joel Ensey withdrew the warrant that served as the basis for the raid of the Marion County Record, conducted by the Marion Police Department. As part of withdrawing the warrant, Bernie Rhodes, the attorney representing the newspaper, says all items that were seized as part of the raid have been released back to the attorney representing the newspaper.

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The Kansas Bureau of Investigation shared on Wednesday afternoon that its investigation will move forward independently "and without review or examination of any of the evidence seized on Friday, Aug. 11."

Rhodes said a forensics expert was on standby to examine the items that were seized by police. Once those items are in the possession of the expert, that party plans to make a "forensic copy," and then check to see if anything was accessed or altered.

Ensey issued a press release on Wednesday which said the affidavits established probable cause that an employee at the Marion County Record may be guilty of unlawful acts concerning computers. The statement said there was not sufficient evidence between the "alleged crime and the places searched, and the items seized."

The county attorney said he is asking the courts to publicly release the affidavits. 

The KBI will submit the findings of its investigation to the Marion County Attorney's Office.

This story was originally published by Jessica McMaster at Scripps News Kansas City

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