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Feds Check Wrong Person's Email In Spam Probe

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MILWAUKEE — It's the online equivalent of police breaking down the wrong door.

Court documents show that a typo caused federal investigators in Milwaukee to go through an innocent person's e-mail account as they tried to track down an alleged Russian spammer.

An FBI agent says in a search-warrant affidavit that as soon as he discovered his mistake he stopped reviewing the e-mails, sealed them and sought a new search warrant.

Investigators were trying to search an e-mail account believed to belong to 23-year-old Oleg Nikolaenko, a Russian believed to be running one of the world's largest spam networks. An FBI agent omitted a letter from the e-mail address when he applied for a search warrant.

An e-mail sent by The Associated Press to the affected account Friday was not immediately returned.

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