Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Feds ransack home for a man who’s been in jail for a year

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[source: FishbowlDC | mediabistro.com]

The Boveda family in Hialeah, Florida recently had an encounter of the typical kind with federal agents when they found their home raided in search of a convicted felon. WSVN-TV reports:

HIALEAH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A family is claiming federal agents raided their house when they were looking for someone who was not there.

The Boveda family said federal agents raided and ransacked their home Thursday morning. Even the front window was smashed. Broken glass was scattered across the floor and nearly every door in the house was busted open. Even their closets were cracked.

"I can't believe what I was seeing. I said don't break the window, I'll open the door for you, but you got the wrong house, you got the wrong house," said Orlando Boveda.

Federal agents said the raid was part of a larger operation to arrest alleged drug smugglers, and the house they raided was the last known address of a suspect who they were looking for.

"The guy said open the door with your hands up," Idalmis Mesa said.

"They were looking for weapons or drugs or something," recalled Boveda.

The family said they were all held at gunpoint. "We have machine guns pointed at us. They don't tell us what's going on. They won't tell us who they are looking for. I'm scared as hell," Mesa said.

Boveda has marks on his chest he claims are from being thrown on the floor. "We were scared that we got shot because they were nervous with a rifle pointed at you," he said.

The feds were looking for Orlando Boveda’s son, but there was just one little problem: Not only was the desired felon not present at the premises (bet you didn’t see that one coming, did ya?), but better yet, he’s actually been sitting quietly behind bars for the better part of a year:

Boveda said immigration agents told him they were looking for his son, 29-year-old Michael Boveda, but he currently sits behind bars at Broward's jail. "Michael is in your control. Michael is in jail for one year already," said the elder Boveda. He said the agents mistook his 17-year-old grandson for his son.

"My brother is full of tattoos and my son doesn't have one tattoo on him," said Mesa. "How do they not know that this person they are looking for has been in jail for the last 10 months. That should be detective 101."

Note the fact that there was both a perfectly harmless 14-year-old girl and a 68-year-old grandfather who already had a heart attack a few months previously and now suffers from chest pains. I’m sure seeing a horde of feds barge into his home (when they shouldn’t have been there in the first place were they competent at all) and hold him and his family at gunpoint did wonders for his health. The family also lost its 3-year-old pet boxer dog when it ran away during the raid. The pooch ought to be thankful it wasn’t shot for showing dangerous aggression when it fled the scene.

The feds since released a statement claiming that no-one was injured (though the Boveda’s numerous bruises beg to differ) and without offering any hint of an apology for trashing a home and holding its occupants at gunpoint in search of a man whom they should’ve known wasn’t even there in the first place. Finally, I’m also sure that the family’s name and ethnicity had nothing to do with any of how it all went down.

(via @todayspolitics)