Federal Agents Raid Wrong S. Fla. Home In Search For Drugs
OPA-LOCKA, Fla. --
Federal agents on the hunt for criminals on Thursday raided the wrong house while searching for drugs.Police and federal agents raided 50 marijuana grow houses around Florida on Thursday, calling it "Operation D-Day.
"They seized $7 million worth of pot plants, but they also kicked in the door of Noel Llorente's Opa-locka home and found nothing but bewildered homeowners.
"I was frightened for my husband because they threw him on the ground," Llorente's wife said. "I was scared.Llorente said he was just leaving for work when unmarked cars pulled up, Drug Enforcement Administration agents jumped out, threw him down with guns drawn, handcuffed him, stormed into his home and searched for drugs.
"I asked them why they came to my house, they said a neighbor or somebody called and said I had a hydroponics lab in my house," Llorente said. "Then I asked them if a marijuana plant could grow inside my underwear drawer."The Llorentes said they don't speak much English – they're immigrants from Cuba. They said one of the reasons they came to the U.S. was to escape oppression from the Cuban police.
Isabel Llorente said she never thought this could happen here."Never, because they criticize Cuba so much," she said. "I've never gone through anything like this."She said what made it especially traumatic was not knowing if the agents were really police or imposters. She said she tried to call 911, but they wouldn't let her.
"What added salt to this injury was after the situation – house is searched, door is broken – they just walked away," the Llorentes' lawyer said. "Like, 'We're the government. We made a mistake.'"The homeowner said he received only a minimal apology from police and federal agents."When I asked them about the door, they said, 'Sorry," Noel Llorente said. "When I asked them about my reputation, they said, 'Sorry.'"