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Chris 'Birdman' Andersen target of an Internet criminal investigation, out of game Thursday night

9:19 PM, May 10, 2012   |    comments
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  • DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 10: Chris Andersen #11 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during a break in the action against the Dallas Mavericks during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on February 10, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 121-120. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
  • Chris "Birdman" Andersen's home in Larkspur.

Douglas County Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children investigators seized property from Andersen's home in Larkspur. Authorities say they found property at the home that's relative to the investigation, but did not elaborate.

The Internet Crimes Against Children unit investigates allegations of Internet luring, Internet child predators and child pornography. But as of right now, investigators are asking for information to be sealed on what they found Thursday morning.

"It is just a search warrant. Nobody's been arrested, there have been no charges. This is an ongoing investigation and there's lots and lots of work to do until it ever gets to that point," Douglas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deborah Sherman said.

The Nuggets excused Andersen from all team duties, meaning he did not play in Thursday's playoff game at the Pepsi Center against the Los Angeles Lakers. It was the sixth game of the seven-game series.

Nuggets head coach George Karl told 9NEWS he stands behind Andersen.

"I talked to Bird for about five, 10 minutes after shoot-around. He was emotional," Karl said on Thursday evening. "I trust Chris. In my years with him, he's been fantastic and I think he's really grown as a person. We're going to support him and stand by him."

The team released a statement on Thursday afternoon: "The Denver Nuggets are aware of today's 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."

Investigators have an ongoing investigation that began from a referral from a California law-enforcement agency. They would not give any details about the tip.

Andersen has not been arrested in connection with this investigation. Deputies did say they have been investigating Andersen since February.

Investigators say the evidence collected will be sent off to be analyzed and that could take weeks. The evidence is being taken to the FBI's regional computer forensics lab, which looks at cellphones, cameras and computers.

Neighbors who live in Andersen's quiet Lakespur neighborhood say he's a nice guy who always takes time out for the kids.

"He's a sweet guy. He kept to himself and he was always stopping off and playing horse, the basketball game, with kids if they were playing outside. Always very nice to our grandson and we had no reason to think negatively of him at all," Vicki MacKinnon, a neighbor, said.

MacKinnon has lived next to Andersen for years. She says she never thought he would have a run-in with law enforcement.

"I was surprised, very surprised. I saw the cop cars here this morning," MacKinnon said.

Authorities say the serving of the warrant on the day of a Nuggets playoff game is simply coincidence.

9NEWS Sports Reporter Susie Wargin says Andersen did participate in practice Thursday morning. He was seen leaving the Pepsi Center on Thursday afternoon.

Douglas County's Internet Crimes Against Children is one of the most active units in Colorado.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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