Miami Heat Player Chris 'Birdman' Andersen Victim of Internet Hoax, Attorney Says

NBA player's home was raided last year by sheriff's Internet child crimes unit.

ByAlyssa Newcomb
September 19, 2013, 2:21 AM

Sept. 19, 2013 — -- Miami Heat forward Chris "Birdman" Andersen was the victim of a complex Internet hoax allegedly perpetrated by a woman in Canada that prompted authorities to raid his Denver-area home last year on a child pornography warrant, according to his attorney.

Lisa Pinto, a spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial District in Colorado, said prosecutors are not pursuing charges against Andersen, 35, and plan to announce the findings of their "extremely complex" investigation in the near future.

Andersen's attorney and agent, Mark Bryant, told his client was the victim of a hoax allegedly perpetrated by a Canadian woman who the athlete has never met.

"What we are led to believe is this person assumed Mr. Andersen's identity via Internet sources and was using that for profit, relationships and gifts," Bryant said.

He said the woman allegedly threatened at least one person and was posing online to other people as the NBA star.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Line Karpish told that a Canadian woman has been charged in connection with a case that was jointly investigated by the RCMP and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, but she declined to say whether Andersen was a victim in the case.

Shelly Lynn Chartier, 29, was arrested in January and has been charged with crimes of possession and transmitting of child pornography, impersonation, extortion and making threats, Karpish said.

Karpish said Chartier lives in Easterville, a small town located on Cedar Lake with a population of 45 people, according to the 2011 Census. She said Chartier is due in court on Oct. 22.

It was not immediately known whether Chartier has an attorney and she was unable to be reached at a listed phone number in Easterville.

"We're midstream our investigation," Karpish said. "We have laid charges, but we are not done."

Bryant said his client is "very grateful" for the cooperative work between the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in Colorado and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

"Of course, he is glad his name is being restored. He knew it from the beginning," Bryant said. "The smaller voices who knew Chris said, 'No way in hell.'"

On May 10, 2012, detectives in the Internet Crimes Against Children unit of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office raided Andersen's home after authorities said they had been tipped off by a California law enforcement agency.

Detectives seized Andersen's computer and other items and took them to a computer forensics laboratory run by the FBI and local police.

Authorities declined to comment on what crime they were investigating, but the Internet Crimes Against Children unit handles cases including child pornography, child prostitution and child sex tourism, according to its website.

It has been a year of redemption for the NBA player, who was released by the Denver Nuggets. He found a home with the Miami Heat, first signing two 10-day contracts before the team took him on for the remainder of the season.

Andersen won his first NBA championship with the team this year and, in July, it was announced that he would return to the Heat's roster next season.

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