NewsLocal News

Actions

Court documents: Police seized 5 computers, 2 cell phones in raid on Kansas newspaper

Marion County Record Search.png
Posted at 2:45 PM, Aug 14, 2023

MARION, Kan. — Court documents obtained Monday by the KSHB 41 I-Team from Marion County shows the list of items seized during a raid of the Marion County Record newspaper and its owner last Friday by the Marion, Kansas, Police Department.

The search warrant was served Friday at two locations in Marion by Marion police officers, including Chief of Police Gideon Cody.

Timestamped at 10:56 a.m. on Aug. 11, officers recorded the list of items sized from the newspaper's offices located at 117 S. 3rd Street.

Warrant at newspaper.jpg

Among the items seized by officers included an employee's cell phone, a desk phone, four computer towers, an external hard drive, a Kansas Department of Revenue record and an employee's desk phone.

A short time later, officers executed a search warrant at the home of the paper's owner, Eric Meyer.

Timestamped at 12:30 p.m., on Aug. 11, officers seized Meyer's cell phone, a laptop, a computer tower, an internet router, an external hard drive and a KDOR record referencing "Kari Newell."

Warrant at Eric Meyer Home.jpg

Execution of the first search warrant at the newspaper's offices unfolded less than two hours after Marion County Magistrate Judge Laura Viar signed off on the search warrant.

The warrant references probable cause that violations of state laws surrounding identity theft and unlawful acts concerning computers were committed.

The warrant called for the seizure of “all electronic media,” including devices used to access the internet or connect to cellular networks or devices that could have been used to access the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website.

RELATED | Marion Chief of Police formerly served as captain in Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department

The warrant also specifically mentions any documents and records “pertaining to Kari Newell.” Another part of the warrant references “items or digital information that would tend to establish ownership or use of computers and Internet access equipment and ownership or use of any Internet service accounts and cellular digital networks to participate in the identity theft of Kari Newell.”

Meyer recently posted on the newspaper’s website a recent interaction two newspaper employees had with Newell when she told them to leave a public event earlier this month featuring remarks from U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner (R - 2nd District).

Meyer said following the event, the newspaper received a tip regarding Newell’s past and worked to verify the information.

But instead of publishing the story, Meyer said the newspaper staff informed police instead.

The raid on the newspaper’s offices has drawn condemnation from first amendment and freedom of the press organizations.

Many of the nation’s premiere news outlets co-signed a letter Sunday to Chief Cody demanding the seized items be returned.