Second suspect in drugs, stolen property case says she’s not guilty

Published 9:02 am Friday, May 17, 2013

The second target in a LeRoy home search, which deputies say uncovered drugs and stolen property, has pleaded not guilty in Mower County Court.

Nicole Lynn O’Brien, 33, pleaded not guilty to two fifth-degree drug charges and one charge of receiving stolen property, all felonies. The other suspect, Steven John Holm, 29, previously pleaded not guilty to the same charges.

According to the court complaint, deputies found $1,000 in tools reportedly stolen from a construction site and two $600 burial vaults stolen from a LeRoy funeral home during their search at the 500 block of North Main Street in January. They also found items that tested positive for methamphetamine, more than 100 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, grow lights, potting soil and plastic cups filled with soil.

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In February, Holm filed his own claim against the Mower County Sheriff’s Office. Holm said sheriff’s deputies wrongfully 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 house before they got an official search warrant and raided the home.

“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 further mentioned he is a reputable eBay dealer who has received praise for his Internet business. The next hearing in his case against the sheriff’s office is set for mid-June.