The government on Tuesday asked a federal magistrate to deny an emergency motion seeking the return of emails taken last week when search warrants were executed at the Midamar Corporation in Cedar Rapids, IA. Defense attorneys for the company say the emails are shielded by attorney-client privilege. After a 56-minute hearing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids concluded, Chief Magistrate Judge Jon S. Scoles ordered the parties to reach a search protocol along the lines suggested by government attorneys. Richard L Murphy and Timothy L. Vavricek, assistant U.S. attorneys, had objected to the defense motion for the protective order because they said it did not comply with local rules. They said the defense did not contact them to see if “good-faith” efforts could have avoided the need to involve the court. The government attorneys did acknowledge that “a search warrant was executed on the premises of Midamar Corporation (Midamar) on May 12, 2015, after law enforcement officers learned that Midamar had been involved in shipping firearms and ammunition overseas.” They said the government has procedures in place to protect seized email communications that may be shielded by attorney-client privilege, and they also said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had seized a number of such documents last week. Those documents were turned over to a so-called “taint” agent for special holding until they can be reviewed by a “filter team.” “A blanket ‘protective order’ is both premature and unnecessary,” the government attorneys argued. It’s unclear how the email documents might fit into the coming criminal trials of Midamar Corporation executives. Midamar founder William B. Aossey is scheduled for trial in July on a series of fraud and conspiracy charges stemming from allegations that his Halal beef and poultry company was exporting misbranded shipments to Southeast Asia. His sons, Jalel and Yahya Aossey, along with Midamar and Islamic Services of America (another Aossey company) will go to trial on similar charges in September. A gun-smuggling ring allegedly used Midamar’s export services, which led to last week’s search of the Halal food company’s premises, but it did not result in any further charges of its officers or employees.