When authorities in Grand Forks investigate an alleged crime, they must make sure that they follow the law and policies set by the state and federal government, as well as by their own agency. For example, if they conduct a search without getting a warrant, that would be considered a violation of the person’s constitutional rights. While some see such technicalities as a way for people to get away with committing a crime, these protections are in place to ensure that law enforcement agencies are limited in what they can do.

A man in Minnesota is facing multiple counts of child pornography possession but a question has risen over whether the search that discovered the images was actually warranted. The search was not originally for child pornography, but was conducted in relation to a cold case concerning the kidnapping and abduction of a young boy in 1989.

The man allegedly told investigators that his computer had some damaging items on it prior to the search of his home. Apparently, investigators were looking for evidence concerning the abduction but the man’s defense attorneys brought attention to the fact that the statute of limitations on that case had expired. In questioning during a pretrial hearing, the FBI agent could not recall when, where or who was involved in a conversation concerning that statute of limitations – only that it did. The questioning was conducted as a way to support the defense’s request that evidence from the search should be suppressed.

In criminal investigations, there are many elements that can play a role and some of these elements may help in a defense plan. Therefore, people may find it helpful to talk about their situation with an experienced attorney.

Source: Grand Forks Herald, “Child porn suspect Danny Heinrich’s attorneys argue for suppressing evidence, change of venue,” Apr. 28, 2016