David Koon reports:
The FBI is planning on releasing some of the items seized during the raid on John Rogers’ home and photo archives business last Tuesday. I reached out to Rogers’ attorney Blake Hendrix, and he confirmed that “they are returning certain items to us” from the Little Rock FBI field office this afternoon, but he wouldn’t disclose what the items were.
Asked whether they’ve learned more about why Rogers’ home and business were searched, Hendrix said that the affidavits that led to the warrants are still under seal. “That will take [legal] activity,” Hendrix said. “They get sealed automatically, and you have to have motions done to try and get them out. That’s all done under seal as well. So there’s no ‘within 14 days’ or anything like that.”
FBI agents last week took numerous boxes from Rogers’ business and home in North Little Rock. Some, witnesses said, appeared to be sports memorabilia. Rogers is known as a collector, along with his business working out deals to digitize media photo collections and share rights for resale of the images. Generally, the publications have retained copyrights on a lot of the material.
The FBI said it couldn’t comment.
UPDATE: There’s growing speculation that the searches might be related to a long-running FBI investigation of sales of sports memorabilia. The New York Daily News reports here on a lawsuit filed against the New York Giants and Eli Manning over the alleged sale of bogus memorabilia — jerseys supposedly worn in games were not, according to one allegation. The article notes a Chicago-based FBI investigation into the sports memorabilia market and notes the raid last week on Rogers. The article notes that Rogers is an investor in a sporting memorabilia auction company that includes others who face indictment in an earlier probe. More here on the topic from a Chicago newspaper.