FBI raids wrong apartment in Fitchburg, Massachusetts

KSDK.com on January 31, 2012 released the following:

“By Victoria Block

Fitchburg, MA (WHDH/CNN) – An FBI raid called Operation Red Wolf has the agency slightly red-faced.

The two-year investigation into drugs and weapons led them to the second floor of a building in Massachusetts, but to the wrong apartment.

“I took two steps, face the second door, and I heard the click of a gun, and saying, ‘FBI, get down,’ so I laid down on my living room floor,” said Judy Sanchez.

Sanchez describes how she was terrorized during an early morning FBI raid in Fitchburg.

“I was screaming, ‘You have the wrong apartment, you have the wrong apartment,’ over fifty times. And then I seen the big blade coming down my door,” she said.

The feds chain-sawed their way into her second floor apartment before realizing they had hit the wrong spot. Their suspect was next door, and they eventually got him. But not before humiliating Sanchez, scaring the daylights out of her 3-year-old daughter, Ji’anni, who was left alone and screaming in another room.

“I was… 35 minutes, just holding my puppy, she was just shaking as much as I was, it was very cold, doors were open, they didn’t let me get my jacket or even so much as get my daughter. It was horrible,” said Sanchez.

The FBI says the agent repeatedly apologized for the mistake and Sanchez was reimbursed for the broken door. But it was hardly enough to appease her anger or lessen her fear. She’s taken to sleeping with a baseball bat ever since the raid, and her daughter continues acting out.

“Anytime anybody knocks, she freezes up. A two-year investigation and you still knock down the wrong door? That’s crazy,” said Sanchez.

As for the real suspect, Luis Vasquez faces up to 40 years in prison, if he’s convicted.



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Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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