Author Topic: FBI Uses Chainsaw In Raid On Wrong Fitchburg Apartment  (Read 5579 times)

Timothy

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Re: FBI Uses Chainsaw In Raid On Wrong Fitchburg Apartment
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 11:55:52 AM »
Woman: Apology is not enough from FBI after botched raid in Fitchburg
FBI raided apt. by mistake

By George Barnes TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gbarnes@telegram.com

FITCHBURG —  Judy Sanchez acknowledges the FBI apologized to her after using a chainsaw to break through her door and burst into her apartment.

But she thinks she should get more than a routine apology, after FBI agents terrorized her and her 3-year-old daughter when they mistakenly targeted her apartment while searching for a drug suspect.

“I don’t think it is good enough,” she said. “It is a start.”

After such a traumatic mistake, she said, the FBI should check in with the family to see how they are doing. Ms. Sanchez, 29, said she has not heard from the FBI since the incident.

As part of a series of raids by the FBI and other police forces, agents arrived at her door on Jan. 26 looking for her neighbor, Luis Vasquez. Mr. Vasquez, 41, was later arrested in a neighboring apartment and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and other crimes.

In an interview at her apartment yesterday, Ms. Sanchez said that although it has been a week since the raid, she and her daughter find it hard to get it out of their minds. She sleeps with a baseball bat she got from her mother after the raid, and her daughter, Ji-anni, is traumatized. Whenever the child can, she avoids going near the door that was cut and broken into.

“Every time someone knocks, she runs and hides behind me,” she said. “And she says, ‘They’re going to knock the door down. They’re going to knock the door down.’ ”

Ms. Sanchez said she was awakened at 6:04 a.m. to sounds outside her second-floor apartment. She thought it was children from the building running around. She normally gets up at 6:15 to get ready for school, but got up to see what was going on.

“Then I heard a loud noise,” she said, demonstrating a chainsaw noise. “I didn’t know what it was. That’s when I saw the blade coming down my door.”

Her first reaction was to rush into Ji-anni’s room, grab the child, rush her into her bedroom and put her under the covers.

After her daughter was in her bedroom, the FBI broke into her front door from a hallway. Another officer was at her back door. She said they were shouting, “FBI. FBI.”

“I was screaming, ‘You have the wrong apartment.’ ”

Ms. Sanchez said she then heard the clicking sound of a gun and was ordered to get down. She said she threw herself on the floor while FBI agents entered the apartment. She was ordered to hold her 3-month-old puppy, Lexi, who urinated in fear.

“I lay there with my arm in it,” she said.

Ms. Sanchez said she remained on the floor for about 35 minutes before being allowed to get up and go to her daughter. A female assistant special agent in charge apologized and told her what she could do to get her door repaired. She said the response was cold and matter-of-fact.

She said she was treated more kindly by Fitchburg firefighters, who responded after the raid to ringing fire alarms. She said they told her how sorry they felt over what she went through.

“I was expecting at least a sit-down and an explanation. Hey, I would have liked a hug at the time,” she said.

The raid was part of Operation Red Wolf, according to Special Agent Greg Comcowich, media coordinator for the FBI’s Boston office. The raid resulted in the arrest that day of 16 people in the Fitchburg area for drug offenses. Reading from a prepared statement, Mr. Comcowich said that while attempting to make entry into a second-floor apartment at 391 Elm St., an FBI arrest team forcibly damaged a door to Ms. Sanchez’s apartment.

“The mistake was quickly apparent to the FBI agents,” he said.

Mr. Comcowich said an assistant special agent in charge spoke with Ms. Sanchez to reassure her and calm her. He said the assistant special agent also told her what the remedy was for repairing the damage, and gave her FBI contact information if she wished to speak to someone and seek additional information.

The FBI did not repair or replace the door. The landlord replaced the door and must also replace the door jam.

Operation Red Wolf was a two-year investigation into illegal firearm sales, drug trafficking and related gang activities in Fitchburg. Twenty people were indicted in the investigation, including the 16 arrested that day.

Although the FBI’s search for her neighbor was the reason she went through the trauma and terror that day, she does not think of him as a gang member and drug dealer. She said she did not know of any meetings of gang members at the apartment next door, where Mr. Vasquez lived. She said she knows him as one of the parents in the building who would hold cookouts with his children in the back yard.

“I didn’t see the bad guy everyone is talking about,” she said.

Ms. Sanchez said she wants people to know what happened to her in the hope that at least a better FBI policy will result from the publicity.

“I’m not doing this for 15 minutes of fame,” she said. “But this situation is not just a quick, ‘I’m sorry and good day.’ ”

PegLeg45

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Re: FBI Uses Chainsaw In Raid On Wrong Fitchburg Apartment
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2012, 12:32:26 PM »
Well....it does give a whole new meaning to the term "buzz me in"..........   :-\
"I expect perdition, I always have. I keep this building at my back, and several guns handy, in case perdition arrives in a form that's susceptible to bullets. I expect it will come in the disease form, though. I'm susceptible to diseases, and you can't shoot a damned disease." ~ Judge Roy Bean, Streets of Laredo

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Magoo541

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Re: FBI Uses Chainsaw In Raid On Wrong Fitchburg Apartment
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 02:11:50 PM »
There has been nothing to follow the original reports here locally.  Considering the neighborhood, it's probably drugs or gang related.  We have been overrun by illegals in the time the current Governor has been in office.  His admin doesn't recognize anyone as illegal nor do they prosecute!  Liberalism at it's finest!

Where I live, we are in the minority as we don't speak Spanglish...I can't wait to get out of here...
Sounds like Central Washington, I escaped almost 9 years ago and from what I've heard it hasn't improved a bit.
He who dares wins.  SAS

Timothy

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Re: FBI Uses Chainsaw In Raid On Wrong Fitchburg Apartment
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2012, 02:40:56 PM »
Sounds like Central Washington, I escaped almost 9 years ago and from what I've heard it hasn't improved a bit.

It's sad really!  I'd would move back to my home town in a minute (Grand Rapids, MI) but my wife and I could never move back to hers.  When we met in the early 80's, it was a vibrant little town and had a main street full of shops, business, offices, doctors, lawyers, some nice clubs and neighborhood pubs.  We used to go to town on Fridays to dance and drink.  

Today, it's vacant shops and gangbangers..

Frosty

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Re: FBI Uses Chainsaw In Raid On Wrong Fitchburg Apartment
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2012, 02:59:10 PM »
Well....it does give a whole new meaning to the term "buzz me in"..........   :-\
That gets 3 big grins  ;D ;D ;D
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Re: FBI Uses Chainsaw In Raid On Wrong Fitchburg Apartment
« Reply #15 on: Today at 11:27:48 PM »

1Buckshot

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Re: FBI Uses Chainsaw In Raid On Wrong Fitchburg Apartment
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2012, 05:18:29 PM »
There has been nothing to follow the original reports here locally.  Considering the neighborhood, it's probably drugs or gang related.  We have been overrun by illegals in the time the current Governor has been in office.  His admin doesn't recognize anyone as illegal nor do they prosecute!  Liberalism at it's finest!

Where I live, we are in the minority as we don't speak Spanglish...I can't wait to get out of here...

Quote
Where I live, we are in the minority as we don't speak Spanglish...I can't wait to get out of here...

I don't usually say this because we are over populated now, ( Just reached 1 million). But Timothy! your welcome to move here to Montana. We could use a (FEW) ::) more good people.

Timothy

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Re: FBI Uses Chainsaw In Raid On Wrong Fitchburg Apartment
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2012, 05:21:37 PM »

I don't usually say this because we are over populated now, ( Just reached 1 million). But Timothy! your welcome to move here to Montana. We could use a (FEW) ::) more good people.

Thanks for the offer!  I've actually considered it too...it's one of the six states I've never visited.  Sadly, my wife won't make a move. 

 

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