Douglas County investigators on Thursday executed a search warrant at the Larkspur home of Denver Nuggets player Chris "Birdman" Andersen.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children unit began investigating Andersen in February after receiving information from a California law enforcement agency, sheriff's spokesman Ron Hanavan said in a news release.
Douglas County sheriff's investigators have taken over the criminal investigation against the 33-year-old center-forward, Hanavan said.
Hanavan said investigators seized property at Andersen's home that they believe is connected to this case, but he would not disclose what it was.
However, law enforcement sources told CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia that computer hardware was seized and, that while there was probable cause for the search, Andersen was not taken into custody because the material has not been analyzed. They don't yet know whether the equipment contains any evidence of wrongdoing.
A law enforcement source told Ferrugia that the case involves minors.
The seized computer equipment was sent to the Rocky Mountain Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Centennial, run by the FBI and local law enforcement.
Typically, the center's forensic analysts will make two copies of a computers hard drive, an archive copy that is saved and a copy that theyll analyze for evidence. The analytical work can take weeks.
Andersen participated at a team shoot-around Thursday morning at the Pepsi Center, but he had left by the time the news broke.
The Nuggets released this statement on Thursday afternoon:
"The Denver Nuggets are aware of todays media reports involving forward/center Chris Andersen. It involves a legal investigation and we are awaiting further details.""Chris has been excused from all team-related activities indefinitely as he deals with the reported investigation. Per team policy, the Nuggets will not comment on any ongoing legal circumstance involving any player or employee," the statement concluded.
Losing Andersen won't impact the Nuggets as they prepare for tonight's Game 6 in their playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Birdman, who's been a fan favorite known as much for his tattoos and jelled mohawk hairstyle as for his intense play off the bench, has seen little playing time since March.
The last time he played in a Nuggets game was on March 25 at Minnesota when he was on the court for 5 minutes and scored 2 points.
The Birdman has overcome adversity in the past.
He was kicked out of the NBA in 2006 for violating the league's drug policy, and had to wait two years before applying for reinstatement.
In 2010, Andersen talked about the consequences of his drug addiction to hundreds of students at Homestead Elementary in Centennial.
"I did lose my NBA career over this," Andersen said as he spoke about reclaiming his life and gave kids high fives.
Andersen said he came to the school "just to let these kids know that the situations and the lifestyle I've been through, to always persevere through all that."
Last fall, Andersen joined with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to give fur coats to homeless people as part of an anti-animal cruelty campaign. The message: The homeless are the only people who have an excuse for wearing fur.
Ads featuring Andersen and his tattoos carried the phrase, "Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin, and Let Animals Keep Theirs."
"Animals, they don't deserve to be beaten or slaughtered," said Andersen, who donated fur coats to residents at the New Genesis homeless shelter in Denver.
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