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BROWARD (CBSMiami) – Two search warrants filed in Broward County court revealed specific details into how Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives and FBI agents are building a case against the BSO deputy at the center of a leak investigation.
Michael Dingman, a longtime BSO deputy, is being investigated in connection with the leak of surveillance video from the deadly shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport two weeks ago.
CBS4 News obtained the search warrants which show investigators searched a home in a gated Coral Springs community on Thursday, January 12th, looking for “….evidence pertaining to communications of financial payment being made to Deputy Dingman from the media outlet ‘TMZ’ or any other media outlet…”
The documents show detectives found a trove of electronics in the home including:
- SD Cards
- 4 iPhones
- 4 Computers
- 3 USB Drives
- 2 iPads
One of the search warrants reveals that investigators also found a “White container w/suspect cannabis” inside.
The search warrants indicate that detectives are trying to follow a digital trail. They’re trying to show whether Dingman or someone else using electronics in the home transferred the surveillance video to TMZ or to other media outlets or communicated with TMZ or any other media.
The release of the surveillance video angered authorities and local leaders who wanted to protect the families of murder victims from these images and also wanted to protect the integrity of the murder investigation.
The search warrant indicates that Dingman is being investigated for two criminal charges – Disclosure or Use of Confidential Criminal Justice Information and Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence.
Jeff Bell, president of the union representing Dingman, said the search warrants are not unexpected.
“Having a search warrant on the house looking for files and things like that would be something expected,” Bell told CBS4 News. “The Sheriff’s Office and the feds have an investigation to conduct and that’s part of their investigation to either prove or disprove the allegations against that specific individual.”
Dingman, a 21-year veteran of BSO, has not been charged with a crime. He is suspended from the agency with pay.