The Denver Nuggets’ flamboyant reserve center, Chris “Birdman” Andersen, was excused indefinitely from all team-related activities this week, after sheriff’s deputies searched his home Thursday (May 10) as part of an investigation by the department’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit.
According to ESPN.com, the department began investigating Andersen in February after receiving information from a law enforcement agency in California. Then, a search took place this week.
Douglas County Sheriff’s spokesman Ron Hanavan confirmed the search, but declined to release further details, including the nature of any pending charges, citing an ongoing investigation. He said they’re are currently asking that the case, including the search warrant, be sealed.
As of press time, Andersen has not been arrested and no arrest warrant has been issued.
The Nuggets announced the decision to suspend his participation with the team shortly before they faced the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 of their playoff series Thursday evening. The franchise said that Anderson was excused “as he deals with the reported investigation” and declined further comment.
Sheriff’s spokesperson Deborah Sherman tells ESPN.com that he was “cooperate” and “spoke with deputies” when they searched his home.
The unit investigating Andersen typically investigates child porn, Internet luring, child predators and child pornography. But, info about Andersen’s case was unknown.
The sheriff’s office did recover property from Andersen’s home during their search that investigators believe is connected with the case. However, it’s unclear what items were seized.
Sherman said an arrest is not imminent, but said that it typically takes several weeks to a month for investigators to collect evidence from the seized items.
Reports said Andersen shares his home with several roommates.
Andersen is in his seventh season in Denver, but his playing time has dropped dramatically this season as the organization shifts to the roster of young talent.
He’s been a favorite with the fans in the Mile High City for the last several seasons, thanks to his colorful tattoos and high-flying, shot-blocking act. And, is known throughout the league by the nickname “Birdman”.
Andersen began his career in Denver in 2001, before bolting to New Orleans three seasons later. He had a breakout season with the Hornets in 2004-05, only to have his career derailed by drugs. He was kicked out of the NBA in January 2006, and was banned for two seasons before he was eligible to for reinstatement.
He returned to New Orleans late in 2008, playing in five games and blocking four shots, before rejoining Denver for the 2008-09 season, providing a spark off the bench and swatting 175 shots in the regular season. Andersen parlayed that big season into a five-year deal he signed with Denver in July 2009.