Hearing held for Brandon man charged with possessing child pornography

Tarance Lee Swan, 57, has been charged with felony possession of pornographic work involving minors — subsequent offense and felony possession of pornographic work involving minors by a registered predatory offender.

EP Court News
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ALEXANDRIA — An omnibus hearing was held on Wednesday, June 8, for a Brandon man charged with two felony counts of possessing child pornography.

Tarance Lee Swan, 57, has been charged with felony possession of pornographic work involving minors — subsequent offense and felony possession of pornographic work involving minors by a registered predatory offender.

During Wednesday's hearing, which was held over Zoom at Douglas County District Court, asked for a date to be set for a settlement conference in the matter. The date for the conference was not announced at the hearing.

According to the statement of probable cause in the case, on May 28, 2020, a search warrant was executed for Swan's residence after a tip was made by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

During the search of Swan's residence, officers seized numerous electronic devices, including flash drives, cell phones and a laptop computer, along with notepads containing girls' names and websites, the statement read.


After reviewing images and videos taken from the devices, authorities were able to confirm they were child pornography, identifying 11 images and one video as such, the statement read.

Swan is registered as a level three sex offender. It was reported in the Echo Press in 2016 that Swan has a history of sexual contact with a 6-year-old female victim, a 17-year-old female victim and an adult female victim, according to the Becker County Sheriff's Office, which investigated the crimes. He also has a juvenile history of sexual contact with a male and female infant.

Swan also has a history of possessing child pornography, according to authorities, the article read.

James Fitzpatrick Helps

An omnibus hearing was also rescheduled in the case of James Fitzpatrick Helps, 42, who appeared over Zoom from jail.

Helps is charged with felony controlled substance crime in the first degree — methamphetamine possession in excess of 100 grams and felony possession of ammunition by a prohibited person — previously convicted of a crime of violence, along with two misdemeanor charges.

Helps' attorney requested that the hearing be rescheduled in seven to 10 days, a request that was granted by Judge P. Hunter Anderson.

Helps, of Richville, was pulled over in Alexandria on Dec. 31, 2021, with two bags of methamphetamine that weighed 1.8 pounds in total, according to the statement of probable cause.

Police also located a 9-mm bullet on the floorboard behind the driver's seat of Helps' vehicle, the statement read. Helps is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he is a convicted felon.


Helps has a lengthy criminal history that includes a conviction for first degree burglary and fifth degree controlled substance possession, both from Otter Tail County, the statement read. These convictions are considered crimes of violence and make him ineligible to possess firearms or ammunition for his lifetime.

In addition, he has been arrested numerous times for felony-level drug charges in Otter Tail County and Clay County, the statement read.

Randy Dale Lindberg

A warrant may be issued after a stay of one week in the case of Randy Dale Lindberg, 39, who failed to show up for his initial hearing on a felony drug charge.

Lindberg was charged with two counts of felony fifth degree controlled substance crime — methamphetamine possession under .25 grams after an incident that occurred on Tuesday, May 24, less than one week after he had been convicted of another felony drug charge and two counterfeiting charges against him had been dismissed.

Judge Anderson allowed the stay of one week in case Lindberg had run into technical problems in trying to attend the Zoom hearing.

Lindberg has five prior felony-level controlled substance crime convictions, and currently has four cases pending on various charges, including the one stemming from the May 24 incident.

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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