Bellevue man files suit after FBI raids wrong house

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A Bellevue man whose home was searched in an FBI-led drug raid -- apparently in an effort to find someone who had moved away -- filed a lawsuit today alleging constitutional violations.

Gary Adams and his family were distressed, embarrassed and humiliated when agents "battered down the door to his home and armed with assault rifles stormed into his house March 3 in a misguided attempt to serve an arrest warrant on a person who was not related to or who had ever resided with" them, according to a press release by Downtown attorney Timothy P. O'Brien, representing the family. "The lawsuit contends that law-abiding citizens' constitutional rights are not, cannot and should not ever be 'collateral damage' in the government's war on drugs."

The complaint by 11 family members filed in U.S. District Court named Agent Karen Springmeyer and 11 unnamed agents as defendants, saying they violated the Adams' Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful search and seizure, and Fifth Amendment right to life, liberty and property.

An FBI spokesperson said she had not seen the complaint yet, and could not comment.

Agents were searching for Sondra Hunter, one of 29 people charged that day with being members of the Manchester OGs drug gang. Ms. Hunter had lived at the address currently rented by the Adams family, but left months before they moved in.

The agents had an arrest warrant for Ms. Hunter, but not a search warrant for the premises.

Mr. Adams and his family plan to hold a 1:30 p.m. press conference today at Mr. O'Brien's office.


Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542.


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