Orem detectives have confiscated 51 "questionable" videos from a rental store, according to a police spokesman.
The investigation began when an off-duty officer noticed one questionable video in the store, which was taken to a judge. "We went back Tuesday afternoon with a search warrant, which we didn't have to use because the manager of the VideoStation cooperated with the search," said Gerald Nielsen, police spokesman.Nielsen said that while detectives had viewed only one of the 51 films, the movie titles and promotional pictures made their nature "very obvious."
Mark Greer, manager of the Video Station at 240 E. 13th South, Orem, Wednesday said that when the movies were stocked he did not believe they were pornographic.
"I suppose the police are just doing their jobs, and we are happy to cooperate with them in this matter," he said.
"We didn't think the material was illegal, but it will be up to the officials to decide that now."
Distributing pornographic material violates a state statute, Nielsen said. He said that if the proper authorities judge the materials to be pornographic, the store's owner or manager could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by one year in jail and/or a fine of as much as $2,500 for each count.
In the past 18 months, the Orem Department of Public Safety has sent every video store in the city a flier explaining what makes a video illegal for Utah distribution, Nielsen said.
"We inform stores on what kind of videos they need to be cautious about. Most stores have complied voluntarily," he said. "Several have deals with other stores out of state. If the distributor sends them something questionable, they willmake a trade with the out-of-state store."
Nielsen said detectives check stores periodically for offensive material, but the officer who noticed the first questionable video was off duty. Orem has not prosecuted any offenders for the last three years, he said.
Greer said he did not recall receiving any warning fliers like the one Nielsen described.