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Londonderry man challenges search in child porn case

Union Leader Correspondent

December 03. 2013 8:29PM

BRENTWOOD — A Londonderry man accused of keeping child pornography on his computer is arguing that a judge should toss out all evidence against him because police continued to comb through his computer hard drive long after the search warrant expired.

Jeffrey Velliquette, 42, of Londonderry is arguing that Londonderry police violated his Constitutional rights by making a forensic copy of his computer hard drive that was examined even after a search warrant expired on Aug. 9.

“In this search, a truly staggering amount of non-contraband information stored within Mr. Velliquette’s computer system (55,000 images) were sifted through and examined by government investigators in the 10 months after execution of the search warrant,” defense lawyer Paul Garrity said in a court motion.

Garrity is arguing that police had no right to search for evidence beyond a date set on the warrant.

Velliquette was indicted in July on six counts of possession of child sexual abuse images by a Rockingham County grand jury.

Prosecutors say Londonderry police obtained more than just images from Veliquette’s computer when they visited his home on June 22.

Velliquette told police that he would “never hurt a kid” but surprised a detective when he added, “Chris Hanson ruined it for everybody,” according to a sworn affidavit by Londonderry police Detective Christopher Olson.

“I asked Jeffrey what he meant, knowing that Chris Hanson interviews potential child predators on a popular show called ‘To Catch A Predator’ on NBC,” Olson said in a sworn affidavit.

Olson asked Velliquette if he was talking about the TV show. “Yeah, that’s it, but I’m not a predator,” Velliquette allegedly said.

Velliquette told police he may have child pornography on his iPad and computer, prompting investigators to seize them and apply for a search warrant, according to Olson’s affidavit.

Assistant County Attorney Brad Bolton argued in court papers that Velliquette consented to police searching his computer and iPad on the day they visited his home, even before they obtained a warrant.

The search warrant also explicitly stated that investigators would be making a copy of Velliquette’s hard drive “for the investigation and prosecution of this matter,” according to Bolton.

Police were first tipped off about Velliquette’s alleged child pornography collection by a photo he posted on Facebook, according to Olson’s affidavit. The photo was a screen capture from Velliquette’s iPad which showed a photograph of a bike, as well as web browser tabs that suggested he was looking at child pornography, according to Olson.

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