Local law officials conducted an extraordinary raid on the Marion County Record office, the reporters’ homes, and the publisher’s residence on Friday, seizing computers, cellphones, and reporting supplies.

Who is Eric Meyer?

The newspaper’s owner and editor, Eric Meyer, said that a confidential source who leaked private papers to the publication gave police a clear directive: “Mind your own business or we’re going to step on you.”

Meyer stated that the two sheriff’s deputies and the whole five-officer police force of the city had taken “everything we have,” and it was unclear how the newspaper staff planned to get the weekly issue to press on Tuesday night.

Also Read: Who was Darren Benitez? Cause of death, murder rumors, net worth, career, tributes and more

The raid came after reports that a restaurant owner had asked reporters to leave a meeting with U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner last week and that the owner lacked a driver’s licence and had been convicted of drunk driving.

Meyer claimed that in his 20 years at the Milwaukee Journal and 26 years as a journalism professor at the University of Illinois, he had never heard of a police raid on a newspaper office.

The search warrant, which was authorised by Marion County District Court Magistrate Judge Laura Viar, appears to be against federal law, which protects against examining journalists’ homes and collecting their materials. The law mandates that law enforcement get evidence through subpoenas. Viar didn’t reply to a request for comment for this article or provide an explanation of why she would approve a possible criminal raid.

The police raid in Kansas, according to Emily Bradbury, executive director of the Kansas Press Association, is unprecedented.

Meyer revealed this week that Kari Newell, the proprietor of a restaurant in Marion, had expelled journalists from a public event with LaTurner, whose staff had expressed regret. On her personal Facebook page, Newell replied angrily to Meyer’s story.

Also Read: Did Lil Tay fake own death to promote crypto coin launch? Fans refuse to believe Instagram hacking story

According to Meyer, a secret source got in touch with the publication and gave proof that Newell had been found guilty of drunk driving and was still operating a vehicle without a licence. Her chances of getting a liquor licence for her catering company could be in jeopardy because of the criminal record.

Meyer believed the source was passing over information from Newell’s divorce-seeking husband. Meyer informed the authorities about the scenario and made the decision not to write a piece about the information.