Police raid newspaper office; seize computers

Mark Reinstein/MediaPunch/AP
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Law enforcement officers in Kansas raided the home and office of a newspaper owner, prompting a sharp rebuke from a press freedom group and raising constitutional questions far beyond the small city in the state.

The paper’s co-owner and publisher, Eric Meyer, believes Friday’s raid in Marion – about 60 miles north of Wichita – was prompted by a story published Wednesday about a local business owner, while authorities countered they are investigating what they called “identity theft” in a search warrant.

Computers, cell phones, and other materials were seized during the raid at the Marion County Record, Meyer confirmed to CNN.

At the time of the raid, Meyer said he was at the home of his 98-year-old mother, who died less than 24 hours later, he told CNN by phone Saturday evening. Police took Meyer’s phone, a computer router and an old laptop he hadn’t used in two weeks from the home, Meyer said.

Officials conducted the raid after Marion County Court Magistrate Judge Laura Viar signed a search warrant Friday morning, which alleges violations of identity theft and “unlawful acts concerning computers.”

The search warrant identified a list of items law enforcement officials were allowed to seize, including “documents and records pertaining to Kari Newell,” the business owner who was the subject of the story, Meyer said.

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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!