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Judge bars evidence from tainted search


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POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2009

A federal judge has thrown out evidence from a baggage search at the Hilo Airport last year that discovered photographs of naked children.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright ruled Tuesday that the search by federal Transportation Security Administration officers went beyond the scope of their duties to find weapons and explosives.

He also concluded that a TSA officer's recollections of the August 2008 search were vague and contradictory.

The searched bag belonged to Simon Jasper McCarty, who lives in the United Kingdom. He was in Hawaii to give a seminar on drum circles. He has been in custody since his arrest at the airport.

Prosecutors did not comment on the ruling on Tuesday.