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June 2011, Week 2

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Wed, 8 Jun 2011 23:06:11 -0400
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Questions Surround Feds' SWAT Team Raid of Stockton CA Home
over Student Loans

Written by C. Johnson and Leigh Paynter

News10/KXTV - ABC News - Sacramento, California

June 8, 2011

http://www.news10.net/news/local/article/141108/2/Questions-surround-feds-raid-of-Stockton-home

STOCKTON, CA - A federal education official Wednesday
morning offered little information as to why federal agents
raided a Stockton man's home Tuesday morning.

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.

As Wright came downstairs in his boxer shorts, he said the
officers barged through his front door. Wright said an
officer grabbed him by the neck and led him outside on his
front lawn.

"He had his knee on my back and I had no idea why they were
there," Wright said.

According to Wright, officers also woke his three young
children, ages 3, 7, and 11, and put them in a Stockton
police patrol car with him. Officers then searched his
house.

"They put me in handcuffs in that hot patrol car for six
hours, traumatizing my kids," Wright said.

As it turned out, the person law enforcement was looking for
- Wright's estranged wife - was not there.

Wright said he later went to Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston and
Stockton Police Department, but learned the city of Stockton
had nothing to do with the search warrant.

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.

"They busted down my door for this," Wright said. "It wasn't
even me."

The Stockton Police Department said it was asked by federal
agents to provide one officer and one patrol car just for a
police presence when carrying out the search warrant.

Police officers did not participate in breaking Wright's
door, handcuffing him, or searching his home.

"All I want is an apology for me and my kids and for them to
get me a new door," Wright said.

News10/KXTV

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