Sep 202012
 September 20, 2012

Illinois marijuanaWrongful ‘No-Knock’ Raid Terrorizes Family In Illinois

By Brendan Ferreri-Hanberry

In another example of drug war excess, officers raided and vandalized the home of Beach Park, Illinois resident Paul Brown on Friday afternoon of last week. The apparent impetus for the raid was a mysterious package delivered to the house 10 minutes earlier. Brown’s son-in-law, Wilmer Aries, received the package and noted that it was not addressed to any of the house’s residents. Instead, it bore the name “Oscar” and an unfamiliar last name.

Brown, a 58-year-old architect, explained that the officers with the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group broke down his front door in the no-knock raid, handcuffed him, and pointed a gun at his face. “The garage door was open. They could have just walked in,” he said. “They didn’t have to crash the front door down.”
Although the officers seized the package, claiming it contained marijuana, their two-hour ransacking of the house, including ripping out insulation from the basement walls, uncovered no evidence to incriminate anyone in the house and led to no arrests. “They were upset they didn’t find anything. When I asked them who was going to pay for the door they basically said, ‘Not us’,” said Brown, who noted the door on his luxury home was valued at $3,000 some 12 years ago and the lock set was another $130 from Home Depot.

Brown even noted that the officers, far from apologizing for their mistake, seemed to be congratulating each other on the operation with high fives and fist-bumps. His subsequent calls to the MEG were not returned, nor were calls from news outlets. He has hired a lawyer to file a civil suit and explains that he and his 77-year-old mother-in-law were particularly shaken by the incident. “She’s afraid to even take a nap on the couch now,” he said. “I can hardly sleep. It changes your frame of mind.” His lawyer, Christopher Cohen, characterized the Browns as “innocent bystanders in the war on drugs.”

As Reason.com notes, this is not the first time a wrongful no-knock raid was carried out in the U.S. based simply on the delivery of a package of marijuana. In 2008, the home of Cheye Calvo, mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, was raided by a SWAT team and his two dogs fatally shot. The mayor complained, leading to an investigation, but as the raid was ultimately ruled legitimate, this will likely not be the last such incident.

Published with special permission from the Marijuana Policy Project

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Malcolm-Kyle/100001700224506 Malcolm Kyle

    The only people that believe prohibition is working are the ones making a living by enforcing laws in it’s name, and those amassing huge fortunes on the black market profits. This situation is wholly unsustainable, and as history has shown us, conditions will continue to deteriorate until we finally, just like our forefathers, see sense and revert back to tried and tested methods of regulation. None of these substances, legal or illegal, are ever going to go away, but we CAN decide to implement policies that do far more good than harm.

    During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

  • http://twitter.com/kenbev40 Ken Unger

    I’m a Handicapped Vet suffering from chronic spinal pain caused by injuries received in the line of duty. I’m also a Marijuana POW I was caught with 2 plants after 10 years of Morphine addiction from the medications given to me by the VA to treat the endless server pain. I could no longer live with the side effect of the Morphine. I was busted in 2010 in a SWAT type raid. To spite my pleas not to throw me to the ground because of my back problems the cops did it anyway. I choose not to take the DA deal of 5 years probation with monthly hair type drug test 30 more days in jails. I choose to fight these unjust charges. Because the I choose to fight and to spite not even having a parking ticket in more then 10 years the DA added totally made up sales charges push the total number of years they want to put me in jail for 30 years. By the way child rapist only get 5 years or less. I began to protest through the news papers , facebook, Tv etc anything I could do to show the world the injustice I’m facing. In what I can only guess to be the DA hoping for the protest to die down they County has postponed my trial some where between 5-6 times pushing it back so it will fade from the news. The pressures from this hanging over my head plus the damage done to my body from 10 years of 60 mg Morphine a day I had to have a double bypass. I can’t help but wonder if they would have left me allow to relieve my pain with Medical Marijuana if I would have ever need the bypass at all.
    My biggest problem with this trial unlike the worst child rapist who is allow to address the reasons they did there crimes. I’m not allowed by Mo state law to tell the court that I grew to treat my chronic pain I’m not even allowed to “muddy the waters” with my health problems. To spite what grew being far to important as my medicine to even think
    of selling I not allow to sight that a a reason that the sales charges
    are nothing then an anger DA’s BS.Because by Mo state law Marijuana has no Medical uses I asked which Doctor’s they asked to come up with it having no medical uses you know what I heard back. I’ve been fighting these charges for more then 2 years now with no end in site. If you want to know more about me and these pointless charges here is a web site any help you give me is more then welcome my prays that you never have to live through a “no knock raid”.
    http://cannabisnationradio.com/ken-unger

  • Johnny oneye

    Makes me sick to hear these stories , LEO hopes to find anything else illegal to justify SWAT raids. Scary

  • Maurice Clemmons

    I haven’t been able to find a single video about this to post on you tube. The pig trash must be threatening the press so they don’t say much about it.