Blogger: Detective gave his ID to church

April 9, 2009 at 3:33 PM
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 9 (UPI) -- A Florida man whose blog criticizes his church and minister wants to know how a police detective who also provided church security was able to unmask him.

Thomas Rich told the Jacksonville (Fla.) Times-Union that he has lodged a complaint with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office about the behavior of Robert Hinson.

Rich and his wife have been warned that they could be charged with trespassing if they enter the First Baptist Church. Mac Brunson, the pastor, barred the couple even though he acknowledged that Rich's blog made no threats.

Hinson obtained a search warrant in September for the blog fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com, forcing Google to give him Rich's identity.

While Hinson found no evidence of a crime in a two-month investigation, he turned over his findings to the church. Rich said he only learned of the investigation when he heard from the church.

Undersheriff Frank Mackesy said that Hinson, an intelligence officer, has responsibilities that include investigating threats against religious institutions. He said that Hinson's own relationship with First Baptist was not a conflict of interest.

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