SWAT team may deliver that mystery UPS package

Interesting story in today’s paper, just a sidebar, about a package full of drugs that UPS was trying to deliver, they couldn’t, they opened it to see if it had an address inside and it was full of drugs. Story here: (click)

A comment below the story from “guest” makes a rather snarky comment related to the Matthew Stewart deal in January, but the comment’s basis, the fear of an unwarrented raid on an innocent house, is not without precedent and is one of the reasons police are finding that their tactics in these deals are drawing some critical looks. Typically outraged, and very on-the-mark, column can be seen here (click).

A lot of drug smuggling involves packages sent to fake addresses.

It is not uncommon for packages like this to be found in the system, alerted to the police, delivered, and then the recipient address raided. People who are supposed to receive the packages assume they’ll be left on some unsuspecting dupe’s front porch and they go by to steal them before the homeowner takes them in.

 Four years ago the Prince George’s, Maryland, Sheriff’s Department tracked one such package and raided the home when the package was taken inside by a resident who thought it was for another resident.

Turned out, nobody in the home was the recipient, but that didn’t matter, the swat team smashed the door, shot two dogs, terrorized the homeowners and generally made a huge mess.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berwyn_Heights,_Maryland_mayor%27s_residence_drug_raid

 The homeowner turned out to be the mayor of the town in which the home was located. None of that mattered, the local police were never consulted and the sheriff’s office never apologized — they lawyered up and left the homeowner to clean up as best he could.

 So, lesson: If a package shows up  you didn’t order, don’t take it in.

 Set it on the sidewalk and call the cops. Let them open it — you never know, there might be a very fast response because  there may be a van full of them right around the corner watching to see what you do.

 

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3 Responses to SWAT team may deliver that mystery UPS package

  1. Nick says:

    Excellent report, Mr. Trentelman, and thank you for it! It seems unbelievable that the police in Berwyn Heights didn’t even bother to research the address they intended to raid. They went in totally blind, thinking only that someone there was expecting a package of illegal drugs.

    In this case and many others, including the botched raid here at Matthew Stewart’s, a little old-fashioned police work would have made all the difference. Francom would be alive. Matt would probably paid his fine by now. But rather than investigate even a minimal amount, police here and many other localities have found it easier to use entry warrants hoping to find evidence. And they get to play with all their ‘Rambo stuff’.

    Judges who sign these questionable warrants should be reprimanded as well. A warrant should never have been issued in Stewart’s case. I believe the judge didn’t read it at all, just ‘rubber-stamped’ it. At least, I hope that is what he did. If he read it and signed it, perhaps he is just plain incompetent.

  2. Myth Buster says:

    UPS found drugs in Mathew Stewarts package but failed to find the Toner Cartridge bombs from Yemen? Why trust them? UPS has never served Yemen. It seems reminiscent of the Anthrax letters sent on 9/13 to critics of the US blaming Al Qaeda for 9/11.

  3. Guest says:

    I’m the guess who posted that comment. Speaking logic to people who believe in the war on drugs is pointless. The vast majority of the people who are for the drug war have vested interest because they are police officers, judges, prosecutors, politicians, pretty much anyone in government, or are family members of those government people. They need the war on drugs for job security. LOGIC BE DAMNED!!!

    This would be a great way to get at your enemies. Get some illegal drugs then send them to your enemy and give the police a call when you believe the package is going to arrive. (I DON’T CONDONE THIS IN ANYWAY! PLEASE DON’T DO THIS! NOBODY DESERVES TO HAVE THEIR HOME RAIDED BY THE SWAT TEAM IF THEY HAVN’T HARMED ANYBODY ELSE.) The police that get called to the situation MAY have some logic and just let you be, I highly doubt it though, but in all likelihood they will have to spend years in court fighting the charges and spend a gob of money on a lawyer. I bet you anything that is what happened to the mayor in the story above. There is absolutely no reason for this to happen if nobodies life is in danger! IT’S RIDICULOUS!!! But try telling that to someone whose job depends on it.

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