Many remember the raid that occurred on Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo’s home last summer in Prince George’s County Maryland described here in a Washington Post article. Has this occurrence of botched raids become more common over the past several years, eating away at our protection against unreasonable searches?
Last summer police broke down the door of Mr. Calvo’s home and came in shooting. When the raid was over two family pets were dead and a family was forever changed. This happened because drug smugglers were addressing narcotics to innocent citizens in the hopes of recovering the deliveries before they were taken into the addressee’s home.
In this case the box was taken in the home and set on a table, like many of us do with packages. Mr. Calvo thought maybe his wife ordered something for the garden. Interestingly, police had previously discovered the shipment and were watching when the package was taken indoors. This, they said, was the reason for the raid.
Thinking the Calvos were big-time drug smugglers, police entered the home without knocking and without presenting a warrant. Even now, several months after the mistake, the Calvos are not the same.
Think these raids are rare? Think again. You are in for a shock when you see this map created by the Cato Institute displaying incidences of raids on mistaken homes, ending in the deaths of innocent parties, or deaths of police officers.
How the police execute search warrants and how they seize evidence is a huge Constitutional issue. There are many incidents far less serious than these that occur on a quite often basis. If you or your property was searched and you now face criminal charges, the manner in which the search was done can come under fire if proper procedure was not followed.
Having a defense attorney in Maryland who knows the rules of searches and seizures can work in a defendant’s benefit, helping to protect your rights.