ONTD Political

US Dept of Education calls SWAT for non-payment. SWAT raids wrong guy.

11:38 am - 06/08/2011
Education officials break down Stockton man's door

STOCKTON, CA - Kenneth Wright does not have a criminal record and he had no reason to believe a S.W.A.T team would be breaking down his door at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

"I look out of my window and I see 15 police officers," Wright said.

Wright came downstairs in his boxer shorts as a S.W.A.T team 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.

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

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

Wright said he later went to the mayor and Stockton Police Department, but the City of Stockton had nothing to do with Wright's search warrant.

The U.S. Department of Education issued the search and called in the S.W.A.T for his wife's defaulted student loans.

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

According to the Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General, the case can't be discussed publicly until it is closed, but a spokesperson did confirm that the department did issue the search warrant at Wright's home.

The Office of the Inspector General has a law enforcement branch of federal agents that carry out search warrants and investigations.

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.

Stockton police 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.







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. (...)
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rex_dart Mod note.8th-Jun-2011 04:54 pm (UTC)
Fixed your tags; be more careful next time.
bludstone Re: Mod note.8th-Jun-2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
I feel you do a serious disservice by removing the "socialism" tag.

A deadbeat civilian borrower failing to pay back a government loan, and a tyrannical government loan collector smashing through and invading the defaulter's home.

Sounds like a grand expression of socialism to me.

But theres nothing I can do about it.
aviv_b sarcasm alert8th-Jun-2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
Gee, I know the deficit is bad, but you guys might want to consider a wage or income-tax refund garnishment. Works pretty well in my experience.
fionnulaharp Re: sarcasm alert8th-Jun-2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
Actually, they used to file suit. But then, that's before they made it a criminal offense not to pay back your student loan.
papilio_luna Techincal Issue!8th-Jun-2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
Could you just provide a link instead of embedding that vid (or put it behind a cut)? Because of my work, I run Flash Debug and it's giving me giant error pop-ups every time I re-load my flist because their Flash is borked.

Thank you!

Edited at 2011-06-08 05:41 pm (UTC)
24_24_1_1526 8th-Jun-2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
wtf? a SWAT team over student loans?!!! is this what i have to look forward too if i don't get a job soon? FUCK THIS!
saeto15 8th-Jun-2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
Seriously. I'm behind on my loans too, but I'm fucking unemployed. I'd pay them if I could. ugh.
simply_blah 8th-Jun-2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
Can they do this for a defaulted loan? What's the purpose of searching anyone's home?
mirhanda 8th-Jun-2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, did they expect to find the full amount just laying around?
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
sophiaserpentia 8th-Jun-2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
SWAT teams are becoming pretty much the standard way of issuing arrest warrants these days.

But, that begs the question. An arrest warrant for a defaulted student loan? So, we have debtor's prison again now in the US?
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
not_emily 8th-Jun-2011 05:10 pm (UTC)
Great, now I have another reason to be terrified about not being able to make my student loan payments.

astridmyrna 8th-Jun-2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
I love how this guy tells his story. As frightening an experience it must have been for him and his children, he managed to have a sense of humor about it and be serious at the same time.

"They put this here and they said they fixed the hole. The hole is the least of my worry!"

Must've been Spoony's team's doing.
lucia_tanaka 8th-Jun-2011 09:07 pm (UTC)


:goes to see if Spoony's done anything cool lately:
bnmc2005 8th-Jun-2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
OP, That link is broken. Can you add a good link?
autumnleaving 8th-Jun-2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
That's terrifying. I'm scared about my student loans, jfc.
bnmc2005 8th-Jun-2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
It looks like the original source took down the story. All the other links I'm finding are quoting this single source. So no other news outlets covered the story or interviewed this man.

Here's a working link Dept. of Education breaks down Stockton mans door
Submitted by Leigh Paynter, News10 San Joaquin Valley Reporter
Wednesday, June 8th, 12:16 am

I wonder why this didn't get more coverage than just this one news outlet.
bnmc2005 8th-Jun-2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
html fail but nevermind, link is cited above .
lickety_split 8th-Jun-2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
Why the fuck would SWAT be called for--looks at photographs--oh, they're black. That explains everything.

Some felon tried to steal my mom's identity a few years ago and when the cops came to interview her about it they put my dad in handcuffs for no reason at all. My dad answered the door in his pajamas at the crack of dawn, was turned around, put in handcuffs, and thrown into a corner on the floor despite being half asleep, unarmed, barely dressed.... AND THE VICTIM'S HUSBAND, MIND YOU. They just left him there for a few hours while they questioned my mom. I was pretty young when it happened but I remember it quite vividly. Oh, and the other cop "stood guard" over my dad and wouldn't let me sit with or talk to him. I was hysterical.

When they left they took the cuffs off and went about their merry way like shit didn't happen. I'm no expert on police procedure, but I have never seen any cop on Law & Order cuff the victim's unarmed, coopering family members and put them in a corner while questioning them in their own home. /csb
ladypolitik 8th-Jun-2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
Why the fuck would SWAT be called for--looks at photographs--oh, they're black.

LOL. Very well delivered, A+.
sakura_no_miko 8th-Jun-2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
As someone from Stockton, this would not even surprise me.

Although I will point out that the source link is broken.
That one seems to work, though. Possibly because they changed the headline?

News 10 is one of the area news crews. This story's not up in the local paper yet, though.
bnmc2005 8th-Jun-2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
Ok...I am suspicious of this story... It seems no other news source has interviewed this guy or verified this story. After the 30 KIDS DEAD UNDER A PORCH STORY, I'm a little wary.

But like xlickety_splitx said above, stupid (racist) shit happens all the time. If this story is true, then this is a GROSS abuse of power and ressources. I would think more than one person would want some answers. Someone has some explaining to do.
liret 8th-Jun-2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
The DoE is saying they don't put out warrants for defaulted loans:


Which doesn't mean that this situation was ok or that the swat team needed to be involved. But it is still a relief to know that non-payment isn't a cause for arrest.
bnmc2005 8th-Jun-2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
Or perhaps the SWAT was called for some other reason and the reporter didn't investigate any further?
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