Suspect suing sheriff: Alleged thief says deputies wrongfully seized property

Published 10:33am Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The target of a January search that allegedly uncovered drugs and stolen property has sued the Mower County Sheriff’s Office.

Steven John Holm, 29, filed the claim in February and said sheriff’s deputies seized medications, collectibles, lighting systems, jewelry, perfumes and lotions valued at $8,000. He claimed deputies illegally shuffled through a trash can and scouted the LeRoy home before they got an official search warrant and raided the home on Jan. 16.

“They illegally took matters into their own hands and blatantly disregarded the law by rifling through a trash receptacle 20 feet … out of view … around the side of my home,” Holm wrote in his complaint against the sheriff’s office. “The result of this illegal search on private property while they were trespassing resulted in the issuance of a search warrant for the rest of the property …”

Holm was criminally charged in January for fifth-degree drug sale, fifth-degree drug possession and possession of stolen property, all felonies. He pleaded not guilty in February.

In his complaint against the sheriff’s office, Holm says he is an eBay seller who has won awards for his business and maintains receipts for his transactions.

When deputies executed the search warrant on Jan. 16, they reportedly found $1,000 in tools that had allegedly been stolen from a construction site and two $600 burial vaults stolen from a LeRoy funeral home inside the LeRoy home at the 500 block of North Main Street. According to the Mower County Court Complaint, they also found items that tested positive for methamphetamines, more than 100 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, grow lights, potting soil and plastic cups filled with soil.

Holm pleaded not guilty to his charges on Feb. 7. Another woman at the residence, Nicole Lynn O’Brien, 33, faces the same charges. She made her first appearance in Mower County Court on Monday.

Holm had a hearing versus the sheriff’s office last week. The next hearing in that case is set for June.

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