When a bunch of narcotics agents go busting into a house with guns drawn, it’s hoped that they know whose house they’re barging into and that they really have a need to show such violent force. Lafayette narcotics agents and deputies say that they executed two search warrants looking for synthetic marijuana at a business and a home. In Louisiana, it’s not common practice to go into a residence or a business for that matter with guns drawn. In this case, the risk of danger was even higher because no drug charges were even lodged against anyone.
One search warrant was for a place called ‘The Smoke Shop’. The other was the home, presumably, of the Smoke Shop owner. The raiders apparently did not find enough to make arrests, although they say that they found evidence of synthetic weed. They didn’t explain why they made no arrests.
Although this display of force can be seen as a total public relations bust by the Lafayette authorities, they say that they have multiple suspects in mind and expect to make arrests very soon. There is no explanation given of the details of these two operations or what was recovered from the searches. What they did succeed in doing was scaring the willies out of the next door neighbors.
It was the neighborhood that had to watch in fear as an armed cadre stormed the next door residence. Neighbors were shocked and fearful, expressing dismay and outrage that ‘something like this’ goes on ‘right next door’. A police captain explained that synthetic marijuana remains a problem in the area.
In Louisiana, authorities with search warrants are generally supposed to ‘knock and announce’ before they enter private premises. Here, they were not on the mark enough to bring drug charges, but they took the risk of causing a violent confrontation. The use of firearms, indiscriminately drawn at both locations without authorizing reasons given for such force, could have made the searches illegal and in violation of Fourth Amendment right to privacy principles. In that event, the contraband, if any, could possibly have been suppressed.
Source: katc.com, “Metro Narcotics Raid Home and Business,” Steven Albritton, July 10, 2013