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Old February 13 2013, 12:42 AM   #1
Trekker4747
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Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

So, today, I'm sitting here watching TV, relaxing, all of that. When I hear knocking and pounding on the door across the breezeway from my apartment. I think nothing of it, but after a bit it goes on and on and I hear an authoritative yell from the person doing the knocking.

So I take a peek out my peephole and see what's going on and I see a police officer standing there pounding on the door and shouting into it. I listen in and the officer is there serving a warrant for the arrest of one of the occupants of the apartment. There's at least two officers there, both from the local county's sheriff's office.

So the guy is shouting the guy's name telling him to come out, and he has no where to hide, etc. And I'm thinking, "Wow! This guy must have really done something!"

So I'm sort of listening in when the deputy is calling back to dispatch trying to, I guess, get permission to enter. I hear that the warrant is for a drug-related charge for marijuana (I think it was trafficking.) One of the other officers is walking around, occasional spitting onto the ground, they've kicked the guy's doormat around and the "head' officer keeps pounding and the door and shouting for the guy.

I got to wondering if they ever considered he wasn't home.

This goes on for almost an HOUR. During which time more deputies had came up, and they managed to get permission to enter as well as getting the apartment key from the office. At this point the lead officer is shouting into the apartment at the guy that he needs to come out now as he's running out of time. If they have to enter the apartment they'll have more opportunity to look/find things and they can add on charges for not opening the door.

Finally they enter. The head officer has one of those hand-held riot shields (+2 AC against druggies!), two officers flanking him have flash lights and they enter the darkened apartment, now shouting into it for the guy to come out of hiding.

Muffled noises, but finally it sounds like they got someone who's in the apartment and are in the process of cuffing him and asking him questions.

All of this time I'm still standing at my door looking out the peephole. Near as I could piece together the guy inside the apartment was asleep and didn't really hear what was going on and thought it was happening somewhere else in the breezeway. (Apparently he wasn't the man they were looking for.) I sort of wonder about this since the sound of YOUR door being knocked on and shouted through is different than the door of a neighbor, but whatever. The police have turned on the lights and are looking around the apartment, it seems they eventually left without arresting anyone. (Not that I saw anyway, I left for a bit to use the bathroom and either they handcuffed the guy and drug him out of there quickly or didn't do anything to him, not having a warrant.)

Anyway, it was an interesting, fascinating, spectacle to watch but also struck me as way overkill for a simple drug charge. (For marijuana none the less. I think I heard something about suspicions of meth, but the current warrant was only for the MJ.)

What's odd is I just met this guy today as I went out to get breakfast. In passing, I "Hi" and an acknowledging nod.
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Old February 13 2013, 02:55 AM   #2
Chaos Descending
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

I'm surprised it wasn't a full no-knock SWAT invasion these days.
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Old February 13 2013, 03:05 AM   #3
Trekker4747
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
I'm surprised it wasn't a full no-knock SWAT invasion these days.
It's probably that it was the country sheriff's office doing it that prevented that. But, man, these guys were DETERMINED to get in this dude's apartment! It was over an hour they were there pounding on the door. I really wonder what would have happened if no one ended up being home.
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Old February 13 2013, 03:40 AM   #4
Data Holmes
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

Police State USA...
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Old February 13 2013, 03:53 AM   #5
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

Obviously, it's a bit difficult to tell because not all the facts are there. I appreciate that they at least didn't knock down the door. I suspect they had an arrest warrant and reason to believe that the suspect they wanted was in that home, but it appears he wasn't.
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Old February 13 2013, 04:00 AM   #6
Trekker4747
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
Obviously, it's a bit difficult to tell because not all the facts are there. I appreciate that they at least didn't knock down the door. I suspect they had an arrest warrant and reason to believe that the suspect they wanted was in that home, but it appears he wasn't.
Yeah, it seemed they actually called the complex first and had someone come over with the key. Though it seemed whomever they were talking to to get permission to enter may have suggested that as they were talking about kicking the door down.

But, I suspect the charges of the guy weren't severe enough to warrant the level they went to to get this guy. It really is a wonder they simply didn't just assume he wasn't home, leave, and then come back later. Or stakeout the apartment for him to return or something.

Instead the created quite a bit of noise in the breezeway.

And, yeah, I'm not sure on everything they were going after the guy for but the most I gleamed from it were MJ charges. (Again I did hear them mention meth, but they said they didn't have the warrant(s) for that.
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Old February 13 2013, 01:47 PM   #7
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

Well, the reason they didn't think nobody was home and leave is that they had a pretty good idea that someone was there. It turns out they were right. So I wouldn't complain too much about that.

I have no idea if they had reason to believe this person is violent. Of course, any effort to enter a home carries some risk, so it's better to be let in peacefully. However, I'm also assuming they didn't think they'd find any evidence or else they wouldn't be shouting at a building for an hour, tipping him off that they were there.

Overall, it doesn't sound like the most professional of police force, but it could also have been far worse.
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Old February 13 2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
....but also struck me as way overkill for a simple drug charge. (For marijuana none the less. I think I heard something about suspicions of meth, but the current warrant was only for the MJ.)
You wouldn't say that if it was you who had to go into someone's home where a shotgun or pistol was waiting on the other side of the door.

It's incredibly naive of you to not realize that most dealers are armed.

And now you should think about how you could have had bullets from the dealer and his friends slamming through your door and walls, or the toxic and explosive consequences if he was cooking meth over there....
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Old February 13 2013, 04:29 PM   #9
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

Is it possible they were after him for much larger charges, but the drug trafficking charge is the only one they could get a warrant for? That might explain their determination.
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Old February 13 2013, 04:32 PM   #10
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

JustAFriend wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
....but also struck me as way overkill for a simple drug charge. (For marijuana none the less. I think I heard something about suspicions of meth, but the current warrant was only for the MJ.)
You wouldn't say that if it was you who had to go into someone's home where a shotgun or pistol was waiting on the other side of the door.

It's incredibly naive of you to not realize that most dealers are armed.

And now you should think about how you could have had bullets from the dealer and his friends slamming through your door and walls, or the toxic and explosive consequences if he was cooking meth over there....
I see. And what happens if they got the wrong address by accident, hmmm?

"Aw, shucks...sorry about giving your 95-year-old great grandmother a heart attack. It was all in the name of justice - so we're good, right?"

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Old February 14 2013, 03:04 AM   #11
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

Nah, they'll always go harder than 'necessary' (or, whatever they do will seem to be more than necessary to the sucker they're after) because it's a fairly effective way to get most people to surrender immediately. If a crim thinks he has a chance to escape / shoot / win in some other way, you can bet that he will take it.
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Old February 14 2013, 11:47 PM   #12
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

The thing i find amazing about all of this is if they had enough evidence to arrest him on warrant for drug trafficking, why in the hell did that warrant not come with a power of entry? Warrants come from courts, courts offer lots of addendums on that piece of paper if you can supply them with relevant intelligence and evidence.

No doubt our laws are significantly different than the US laws, but if you can convince a judge/magistrate over here that a person needs arresting enough to get a warrant, then you automatically request a Power of Entry to the warrant too.

Dealers and traffickers in the UK are given no time to react to an arrest enquiry over here (fear of arming, flushing evidence etc). Either we would have performed a rapid entry (enforcers, shields, dogs, firearms units all dependant on the risk assessment) to surprise them... or just gone and got the key and opened the door softly softly.

None of this knocking on the door shit for an hour. Guy coulda SMOKED all of his cannabis in that time

Sounds more like an episode of Reno 911 than real life.


Hugo - loves a good warrant
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Old February 15 2013, 12:01 AM   #13
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

If they had an arrest warrant, it undoubtedly came with the power to enter. It's possible they didn't want to break the door or were worried about entering a home without knowing where someone was out of fear of getting shot.
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Old February 15 2013, 12:25 AM   #14
Hugo Rune
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
If they had an arrest warrant, it undoubtedly came with the power to enter. It's possible they didn't want to break the door or were worried about entering a home without knowing where someone was out of fear of getting shot.
Shoddy police work on both sides regardless of what is true.

You fear for safety of officers getting shot - you bring the right people and equipment with you. Risk assess properly with floor plans, resident checks, criminal warning markers etc. If you've not done that, you shouldn't be attending.

You don't want to break the door... you get a key first (as was done) or, well, frankly, you bust the door anyway. A power of entry arrest warrant in the UK covers any possible angle of litigation angle for the police. The police gave enough evidence/intelligence to convince the the court the suspect was in there to get the warrant... the courts deal with any fallout. If (in this case) drugs or the suspect is found inside, then NO costs can be claimed back. A power of entry has been supplied to FIND someone. Someone who typically isn't going to say "Oh, yes officer, come on in".

Sounds like a poor use of resources and tactics in my opinion. The only time I would use a softly softly approach would be if you have relevant intel that a person on the premises is either very aged/infirm (concerns for heart attack), or you expect to see a family of children in there. Still, I've seen suspects kids pouring drugs down the toilet, so...

It's different with standard search warrants though where costs can be claimed back if nothing is found and hence you MAY prefer a softer approach. Yet, still, a rapid entry is typically preferrable so nothing can be disposed of.

And to those who say it's heavy handed to go in with a larger group of officers... I'd ALWAYS go in with a minimum of 4-6 people, regardless if intelligence stated only one person ever lived in there. Firstly, overwhelming a suspect in such a rush-fashion will typically reduce any possibilty of casualty to the officers OR offender. Secondly, most people have friends. Thirdly, it's a quick job - once the suspect has been detained a search can be carried out by 1-2 people, releasing the others back to duty. Fourthly, if it is a large property then that group of officers can divide the searching labour, reducing searching time.

Method of Entry tactics are designed primarily to secure suspects and evidence and to preserve life. It's not shock and awe just cos it looks cool.


Hugo - Trust me, it looks "cooler" on the TV than in RL
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Old February 15 2013, 12:29 AM   #15
Trekker4747
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Re: Bored Sheriff's Office or a Modern Day Pablo Escobar?

Near as I could tell they only had a warrant to arrest him, but not to enter his "home." I suspect the two things are very, very different. It took some talking on the radio to get permission to enter with the aid of the apartment complex.

(Which makes sense, kicking down the door would damage THEIR property, not the property of the person they had the warrant(s) on.)
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