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Crime & Courts

T. Denny Sanford search warrants focus on child pornography

96521e5cb0_T Denny Sanford MPR1991.jpg
MPR

Second Circuit Court files unsealed on Wednesday, Nov. 17, confirm that search warrants served on T. Denny Sanford are part of an investigation into child pornography.

Five search warrants were granted to the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation in late 2019 and early 2020. The purpose stated on the applications is to uncover evidence of distribution, possession, or manufacture of child pornography. On the applications for all five warrants, Thomas Denny Sanford is listed as the defendant.

His lawyer, former Attorney General Marty Jackley, has pointed out that Sanford is not a defendant, because he has not been charged with a crime. But his attempt to amend that language in the court’s records has failed.

One of the five warrants allowed agents to search AOL and Hotmail accounts for photos and videos, as well as dates and times of connections. Another warrant allowed a search of computer systems and digital storage associated with an IP address at Midcontinent Communications in Sioux Falls .

The remaining three warrants were served on Verizon Wireless for phone records on three different dates in May and June 2019.

In each case, the name or phone number on the account has been redacted.

The agent requesting the warrants filed notice that there are affidavits, under seal, that prove there is probable cause to believe that property may be found that is evidence of possession and distribution of child pornography in Minnehaha County .

The agent later verified that each search had been conducted and noted that an inventory of evidence gathered is attached to the DCI reports.

The sealed affidavits won’t become public unless the investigation is declared closed or an indictment has been filed.

Related Content
  • Second Circuit Court files unsealed on Wednesday, Nov. 17, confirm that search warrants served on T. Denny Sanford are part of an investigation into child pornography. Also included in the newly opened files are records of Sanford ’s attempts to kill a story by ProPublica and, failing that, to force the reporters to reveal their sources.