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Education Raid Update

Copy of warrant. Shotguns, police cars and ninjas to go after proof of secondary education and copies of financial aid applications. I weep for this country.

22 Responses to “Education Raid Update”

  1. jd Says:

    I am beginning to think we have already lost this country. . . we just don’t know it yet. . . .

  2. TomcatTCH Says:

    hey, look at that, a Date AND a Signature.

    Unlike in the Jose Guerena murder.

    My, it IS interesting that we don’t have a copy of a legal document in Guerena’s case yet isn’t it?

  3. TomcatTCH Says:

    Did anyone else notice Judge Hollows(you know, that person who signs legal warrants) crossed out “Contraband or any other item that is immediately apparent to be evidence of a crime”?

    That’s right neighborly of the Judge Hollows. The warrant makes no mention of a SWAT team either way, just that it must be day time.

  4. Tam Says:

    Must be nice to work someplace where you can screw up by the numbers and still keep your job.

  5. adam Says:

    If you read page 45 of the search warrant, it mentions financial aid fraud, conspiracy, theft of government funds, wire fraud, etc. I don’t think this is a simple case of a kid defaulting on his student loans.

    That being said, you probably don’t need scatter guns to bust the dude’s door down and snag his Macbook.

  6. Jake Says:

    TomcatTCH: I caught that, too. Considering that they had listed “Any computer equipment or digital devices that are capable of being used to […] store evidence […] of such crimes”, it was a bit redundant anyway. They could have completely disassembled the entire house on the premise that they were looking for a micro-SDcard, and it would have fallen inside the scope of that warrant.

    It’s also redundant in that, as I understand it, anything found in the course of a legal search that is evidence of some other crime is admissible in court, even if it wasn’t listed on the warrant. The warrant only restricts where they can look, they don’t have to ignore anything else they find while they’re looking there.

    I don’t think judges have anything to do with authorizing SWAT or not, just times and the warrant itself.

  7. John Smith. Says:

    Adam they were looking for everything but Contraband…. You cannot just choose a part of the warrant as the part they were searching for. All such documents must be taken at face value. If the warrant only said for financial crimes then that would be why they were there… It does not say that now does it? They were there because the woman had not payed her government loan… It is there in black and white..

  8. John Smith. Says:

    Hey jake you sure are reeling yourself in from your previous statements….

  9. Standard Mischief Says:

    >Adam they were looking for everything but Contraband..

    This is standard boilerplate warrant mischief. There’s a saying that the police “may not search for an elephant in a shoebox”, so what they do is make sure the warrant is broad enough that everything is listed from the elephant to the virtual bitcoins in your virtual wallet that might just be hidden in the memory stick that might just be in the smallest possible hiding place. Poof, instant fishing expedition!

    Judges will do this because they’re held virtually unaccountable to the warrants they issue, and thanks to the supremes, not having a no-knock is no longer an issue as long as they pretend to play a car alarm and at least knock lightly before busting the door down.

    They’ll also steal your address/contacts/phone numbers and woe be the Jose Guerena’s of the world that just happen to be on the contact list of someone who somehow became enemy of the state.

  10. Sigivald Says:

    John: Fraud is not the same as default.

    It’s only “there in black and white” that it was because she “had not payed…” because you decided to ignore the words you didn’t want to matter.

    Items C and D in the list of search objects is key; it sure looks to me like they think she took out a loan to go to school and then… never actually went; thus the search for enrollment records. And they also seem to want to find out if she was lying about her income (thus the W2s and the financial aid worksheets).

    Your argument that somehow it was for defaulting on the loan is untenable, especially since the things that are listed, that you say we can’t ignore, are all things that matter only if you’re investigating fraud rather than default.

    Turns out you don’t need any of that stuff to prove someone defaulted on a loan – the fact of not paying is sufficient!

    Garnishments of wages and tax returns are what happens when you default on a student loan, and nobody needs a search warrant to issue them, because, again – they already have your tax ID, and they already know you defaulted.

  11. John Says:

    Some of the wording of the warrant makes it seem like it’s an issue where the perp has set up a shell company or fake university and is collecting funds from (fake) students. Though one must wonder why the so-called detectives didn’t do a bit more homework to make sure they person they wanted was really at the location.

  12. Jake Says:

    Hey jake you sure are reeling yourself in from your previous statements….

    Well, unlike some people, when new facts are made available I am perfectly willing to change my conclusions. Y’know, like acknowledging that this was part of a fraud investigation rather than for a default on student loans.

    A search warrant is a legitimate part of a fraud investigation, and what is included on this particular warrant appears to my layman’s eyes to be legitimate for the crimes that are listed (minus the part the judge crossed out, which he was exactly right to do). If the investigators didn’t conduct a proper investigation and/or lied on the affidavit (which we can’t know for sure because the affidavit wasn’t included in what was released), the judge probably had no reasonable way to know. From the warrant, it also appears that the judge does not have any involvement in how the search is conducted beyond the day or night question. I see nothing on the warrant to indicate that it would be a “no-knock” search. That could be a separate document, they may have knocked and he didn’t hear it because he was asleep at 6am, or they may have pulled the same garbage the Pima Co. SO did and just knocked quietly – which would not be the judge’s fault.

    So, in that sense, yes, I am “reeling myself in” from my earlier condemnation of the judge. Because the information I was basing that on turned out to be wrong. That’s what adults do.

    I still stand by my previous statements that there was no legitimate reason for a SWAT team and/or dynamic entry to be used in this instance, that this was nothing more than a “justification raid”, and that any reasonable investigation should have shown that the (apparent) subject of the investigation no longer lived at that address.

  13. Paul Says:

    It looks like they want him for mail/wire fraud. Also fake ids.

  14. John Smith. Says:

    @ Sigivald. Since when does NEED have to do with how law enforcement acts??? They had no NEED to kick down a door and send in 15 swat ninjas… If we follow your belief then every single piece of paper the woman has touched since the loan is relevant to the investigation… Remember when you choose to interpret literally all things apply literally… I apply it no different the swat does. They search for the things RELEVANT to the case not everything on the warrant….

    Are you trying to tell me the feds cannot get copies of relevant and accurate information from the W-2’s? The IRS can help them with that…. The documents relative to the case were filed with the Federal institutions in order to get the loans in the first place… It does not make since to search for documents that you as a federal officer have access to at the suspects house….

  15. Phelps Says:

    I understood that we need these paramilitary raids because of the danger that the evidence could be destroyed if they waited more than 10 seconds to bust the door down.

    What was the easily destroyed evidence here that was going to justify breaking the door down? Do people flush laptops down the toilet?

  16. mariner Says:

    It may be time to refer to “The Place the United States Used to Be”.

  17. John Smith. Says:

    There was once a hacker who kept a .38 snub nose with hollows to shoot his hard drive should that become necessary… Of course he did have a rather hard to penetrate all steel plate door frame with a steel security door so he would have time to do the job…

  18. JWright Says:

    From Nanny State to Police State in 3 Lonnnnnnnng Years.

  19. Justthisguy Says:

    @John Smith: I think thermite would be better.

    What made my jaw fall was seeing “page 45.” A search warrant with 45 pages? Wassup widdat? How can you slide that under the door so I can read it before I let you in?

    We really are back to Writs of Assistance, one of the proximate causes of the Revolution.

  20. hillbilly Says:

    Again, I think the most important part of this mess is totally lost on some folks here.

    Fraud or not, the fact remains that this was a SWAT raid authorized by the DEPT. OF EDUCATION.

    Not the FBI. Not the DEA. Not even the BATFE.

    The DEPT. OF EDUCATION. Really? Send an armed gang to kick in the door?

  21. Justthisguy Says:

    hillbilly hast recht. The Dept. of Ed. has no Constitutional reason for even existing, let alone employing armed thugs.

  22. comatus Says:

    The Dept of Educ is one of the larger unplugged leaks in the federal budget, and fraud is indeed rife in aid applications. Add up the populist impulses to get tough on crime and get tough with the budget, add some “that damn Johnson” frequent-manhood, and you get “conservative democrats,” largely, in my experience, indistinguishable from the usual object of Godwin’s Law.

    Oh I think we can expect to see a lot more of this.

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