Feds challenge ruling in RNC evidence proceeding

The federal government is challenging a ruling that St. Paul police conducted an illegal search in connection with two Texas men accused of trying to disrupt the the Republican National Convention.

The challenge is the latest legal action in the case of two Texas men in custody for possessing molotov cocktails during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

A federal magistrate recommended last month that prosecutors could not use evidence found in a U-haul trailer against Bradley Crowder and David McKay, because St. Paul police did not have a warrant. The trailer contained 34 homemade riot shields and batons authorities say Crowder and McKay intended to use against police during the RNC.

The federal government is challenging the magistrate's ruling on several grounds, primarily that the two men don't have standing. In other words, they don't have a right to challenge the search as illegal, because neither one of them rented the trailer or had it under their physical control.

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A federal grand jury indicted McKay and Crowder in September on charges they possessed Molotov cocktails during their stay in St. Paul during the Republican National Convention.

They have pleaded not guilty and are being held without bail.

Federal Magistrate Franklin Noel ruled Nov. 18 that there was ample time for police to obtain a search warrant, because police knew the trailer and its contents existed for at least a day and half before they located it.

U.S. District Chief Judge Michael Davis can accept or reject the magistrate's recommendations.

A St. Paul police officer said there was no time to get a warrant, because an informant said the contents would be moved within the hour.