Donnie Snook's SUV, camper used in offences, police allege

Two more search warrants related to investigation of former Saint John city councillor Donnie Snook on child exploitation charges have been made public.

Officers searched vehicles after former city councillor gave statement

Saint John police believe former city councillor Donnie Snook's SUV and camper were used in the commission of criminal offences, according to search warrants released to the public on Wednesday 2:09

Saint John police believe former city councillor Donnie Snook's SUV and a camper were used in the commission of criminal offences, according to search warrants released to the public on Wednesday.

Police obtained the two warrants for the vehicles that were parked in Snook's driveway on Jan. 29, after getting an audio and video recorded caution statement from the suspended youth ministry leader.

Snook, 41, is facing eight child exploitation charges, including three counts of touching a child for a sexual purpose, one count of making child pornography, two counts of distributing child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography.

The Crown has said the investigation is ongoing and more charges are likely.

Donnie Snook, 41, is scheduled to return to court to enter pleas on May 29. (CBC)

Const. Gordon Redfurn, a member of the family protection unit, learned three things from Snook's police statement, he states in the court documents.

But the details have been blacked out by the Crown and police.

Redfurn goes on to say he believes the information proves the SUV and camper were used in the commission of the criminal offences.

Police had also seized a computer hard drive with several alleged child pornography photos and videos depicting the black 2011 Ford Escape and its licence plate, according to the documents.

One video shows Snook filming himself while driving the SUV, the documents state. There is also a photo of the back seat of the vehicle, which appears to have been taken by someone in the front seat, the documents state.

Police had also seized a camera memory card containing alleged child pornography images, which they believe show the interior of the white Starcraft camper, according to the documents.

Someone at Snook's Martha Avenue home had also referred to a camper in online chats with an undercover police officer, the documents state.

Police searched both vehicles for forensic evidence, including fingerprints and DNA.

Sealing orders too broad

Police searched Coun. Donnie Snook's Martha Avenue home on Jan. 9. (John Van Dusen/CBC)

The warrants had been sealed by a provincial court judge to protect the identity of any alleged victims and to maintain the integrity of ongoing investigations and techniques.

But CBC News and Brunswick News applied to have the documents released, arguing the sealing orders were too broad.

Search warrants are normally public documents once they've been executed.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and Snook has not yet entered any pleas.

He is scheduled to return to court on May 29 after his defence lawyer Dennis Boyle requested an adjournment earlier this week.

Snook has been in jail since his arrest on Jan. 9, but his lawyer has declined to say where he is being held.

In the days following his arrest, Saint John police said several more people had come forward, alleging they were also abused by Snook.

The investigation could take up to a year or more to complete, police have said.

Four other search warrants, released on Feb. 19, alleged someone linked to Snook's Martha Avenue home was trading hundreds of sexual images of boys as young as toddlers engaged in various sexual acts with adult males and prepubescent males.

Someone at the address also offered up young boys for live web cam sessions, claiming children in the city were widely available to him, according to the more than 500 pages of documents.

"My conclusion is that I believe that [the unknown computer user] is Donnie Snook, as he was the only person home at 575 Martha Avenue at that time," Const. Gordon Redfurn stated in the information to obtain the warrants.

Police seized several items from Snook's bungalow on Jan. 9, including an iPad owned by the City of Saint John, video recordings and video equipment, the documents state.

They also seized files from the Department of Social Development related to Snook being a foster parent for 25 years.

The police investigation dates back to March 2011, when Toronto RCMP Det. Paul Krawczyk discovered an unknown person trading child pornography in Saint John area, according to the court documents.