CHARLOTTE, N.C. — According to newly unsealed search warrants, months before his absentee activities would make national headlines, state investigators were closely following Leslie McCrae Dowless, the man at the center of the North Carolina 9th District election fraud case.

Investigators appeared interested in ATM records, personal banking records, bank records of his political action committee, Patriots for Progress, and personal cell phone records.

The warrants showed Dowless was being watched by the SBI and the FBI in the months leading up to the 2018 election. Records were seized by the SBI in December and January.

According to the documents, the SBI's criminal investigation of Dowless began on Feb. 28 of last year. He is currently awaiting trial on seven felony counts.

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being duly sworn, request that the Court issue a warrant to search the person, place, vehicle, and other items described in this application and to find and seize the property and person described in this application.
i~ This, the _ _ _-.._:~ ___day of January 17, STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA FIL_ F [tl THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE COUNTY OF WAKE ZOfg FEB IL~ Pi-1 : s UPERIOR COURT DIVISION 12 30 1 Ii " ' 1 ·- : ~ , ... I ~ ....
WHEREFORE, the State moves the Court seal the search warrant, the application of the search warrant and the inventory of the items seized by the SBI. (\ . This the 5th day of December 2018. *:).· ;·~~/ "· C ····. \ ......... , .