Say, You Remember That SWAT Raid Over Financial Aid Story From Wednesday?

Well, there might be a wee bit more to it than originally came out. Refresher

A federal education official Wednesday morning offered little information as to why federal agents raided a Stockton man’s home Tuesday.

The resident, Kenneth Wright, does not have a criminal record and he had no reason to believe why what he thought was a S.W.A.T team would be breaking down his door at 6 in the morning.

“I look out of my window and I see 15 police officers,” Wright said.

So, we know what happened after that. He and his kids were detained for around six hours, and the person who was at the center of the search break in, his ex-wife, was not there, and had abandoned the family, along with her loans. So many on both the Left and Right were up in arms over this, wondering why the Department of Education was using SWAT teams to execute search warrants. Well, the story gets a bit deeper, with a bit more clarity

U.S. Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton confirmed for News10 Wednesday morning federal agents with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), not local S.W.A.T., served the search warrant. Hamilton would not say specifically why the raid took place except that it was part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Hamilton said the search was not related to student loans in default as reported in the local media.

OIG is a semi-independent branch of the education department that executes warrants for criminal offenses such as student aid fraud, embezzlement of federal aid and bribery, according to Hamilton. The agency serves 30 to 35 search warrants a year.

The local Stockton PD had nothing to do with the raid, only standing by in their jurisdiction. Then there is this from the search warrant (page 4)

Apparently, said ex-wife was racking up some serious federal violations, and the OIG would have had no idea if the husband was involved. 18 USC 371 is about conspiracy to commit an offense against or defraud he Federal government. While that might not fully support a SWAT raid as of this time, we’re starting to see a clearer picture of multiple federal violations. The warrant covers what can be searched and seized, which was pretty much most of the house, looking for all sorts of records. And, if we follow this story on further, I have a good suspicion that information will come out that will probably support the use of the SWAT team. Government does some really stupid things, but, one has to figure that somewhere up or down the line, someone was going to say “um, do we really need a SWAT team?” Cooler heads would digest the information and, apparently, say “um, yeah.” No one wants to be caught in a Janet Reno/Elian Gonzales situation.

Crossed at Right Wing News and Stop The ACLU.

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9 Responses to “Say, You Remember That SWAT Raid Over Financial Aid Story From Wednesday?”

  1. gitarcarver says:

    Sorry Teach, but while I agree that there is a great deal that is not known about the charges and the basis for the warrant, fraud and wire fraud warrants are seldom executed with SWAT team, no knock warrants.

    Such warrants are used when there is a danger to the evidence or a danger to the police executing the warrant. Clearly that was not the case here.

    Someone is going to have to show a lot more to explain the Department of Education’s use of a SWAT team breaking in a residential door for wire fraud.

  2. I understand what you’re saying, I just think there is more to this story which will slowly come out.

    Of course, I could be wrong, and someone “acted stupidly” in authorizing the SWAT strike, rather than a bunch of agents coming to the door politely.

  3. gitarcarver says:

    I just think there is more to this story which will slowly come out.

    On this we definitely agree. Whether it is more dirt about the guy upon whom the warrant was served, or the government’s use of overwhelming force on this type of a warrant, more will come out.

    And I think we both agree that it should.

  4. david7134 says:

    The language in the warrent looks fairly typical for what you might expect in a situation involving something as simple as the original description of the loan default. The government describes anything that involves money as “fraud”. In fact, when a doctor bills Medicare, and has any error in his paper work, it is characterized as fraud, since he is using a computer, then wire fraud is thrown in as well. So be careful in making a judgement on the language.

    As to SWAT, why do we have that for any reason? The idea of a no knock warrent started in the 60’s or 70’s with the drug raids. They now use it in a number of situations. The concept is one I don’t argee with at all as it has led to innocent deaths, as the Iraq vetern that was recently killed by the police.

    SWAT is one of those examples of freedom lost as a result of our “war on drugs” and thus one of the reasons for my attitude on eliminating drug laws.

  5. Adobe Walls says:

    I recall reading a year or so ago that part of the stimulus(?) money went to the Dept. of Ed. for military/law enforcement type shotguns, about 300 if memeory serves. Not sure why but I don’t remember being that surprised, I guess I assumed they were for one of O’Sputnik’s youth organizations.

    Here is my question. Why does the Dept of Ed have any law enforcement authority? Why do they have and where did they get authority to apply for No Knock warrants? Does this power come specifically from Congress or did DoE write a regulation giving itself this power. Does every individual Inspector Generals office within the Federal government have this authority.

  6. captainfish says:

    David and Trish are correct. As well as everyone else here. (Cant we all just get along?)

    The DoE did purchase SWAT shot guns last year. I believe there were two purchases of them along with SWAT gear.

    There is absolutely no reason for a no-knock warrant on the failure to pay student loans. Isn’t fraud a civil matter? GC can you correct me?

    And, what is the FBI for? When did the OIG get the same power as the G-men?

    And, I’m sure you know Teach, that the gov’t loves to INFLATE the charges to make them look meaner than they are like suggested above.

    Ok, let’s play devil’s advocate. Let’s say that this is all legit. What would these “raiders” hope to gain by conducting a no-knock warrant? What would they hope to find?

    Let’s say they find and arrested the wife. Would she be facing a federal judge now on… what? failure to make payments on student loans that she probably took out in 1980!?!? SINCE WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN!?!?!?

    And, what else were they hoping to find by getting a SEARCH WARRANT for the entire house? Records? Records for what? What kind of records would entail needing to conduct a no-knock warrant and bust in with shotguns and lock up the entire family for 6 hours?!!?!?!

    Can we call our country doomed now and face the tyranny that is growing?!!?

  7. Adobe Walls says:

    My faulty memory it was only 27 Remington’s to go with existing inventory.
    According to the Freedom Line and Quinn Hiller the Railroad Retirement Board and The Small Business Administration have armed themselves. Once again how did they get the authority?

  8. captainfish says:

    HOLY CRAP!!!!

    At least all of the following departments, quite bizarrely, feature armed agents: the National Park Service; the IRS; the Postal Inspection Service; the Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Labor, and Veterans Affairs; the Bureaus of Land Management and Indian Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service; and even the Small Business Administration and the Railroad Retirement Board.

    Agents in some of these entities seem prone to ostentatious shows of force or to sending in armed FBI personnel on unnecessary occasions. There was the November 1997 raid on the Massachusetts pollution-control-technology company owned by James M. Knott Sr., in which 21 EPA agents, many armed, swooped in to collect “discharge” readings – and then falsified the results. Similarly, an April 29, 1998, New York Times story reported that “three businessmen told the Senate Finance Committee today of Internal Revenue Service agents who, with guns drawn, broke down doors, terrified workers and forced teenage girls to change clothes in front of male agents in raids at the men’s homes and businesses.”

    Consider also the case, now infamous, of inventor Krister Evertson. On May 27, 2004, Mr. Evertson was preparing in Wasilla, Alaska, for a private gold-mining expedition to raise more funds for his research into clean-energy fuel cells. Federal agents in two black sport utility vehicles, waving assault rifles, forced his car off the road. Manhandling him as if he were a terrorist, they arrested, interrogated and jailed him. For what? Putting the wrong shipping label – with the correct instructions, mind you, but still the wrong label – on a box of raw sodium that he sold on eBay.

    (and we’re the dead horse)

  9. Adobe Walls says:

    Armed IRS and EPA personnel talk about hate groups!
    Interestingly enough half of those feral agencies or departments are on my list of must abolish.

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