[Rushtalk] Bacon Alert:Kansas couple: Indoor gardening prompted pot raid

Carl Spitzer Winblows at lavabit.com
Thu Apr 18 07:53:34 MDT 2013




Kansas couple: Indoor gardening 

prompted pot raid


By HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH   Associated Press 

http://news.yahoo.com/kansas-couple-indoor-gardening-prompted-pot-raid-182449463.html 



RELATED CONTENT

   

      * Addie and Bob Harte share photos from the day of a police raid
        on their home in Leawood, Kan., Friday, March 29, 2013. The
        Hartes, who are former CIA employees, sued this week to get more
        information about why sheriff's deputies searched their home in
        the upscale Kansas City suburb last April 20 as part of
        Operation Constant Gardener — a sweep conducted by agencies in
        Kansas and Missouri that netted marijuana plants, processed
        marijuana, guns, growing paraphernalia and cash from several
        other locations. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)View Photo
        
        Addie and Bob Harte share photos …
        
      * Bob Harte demonstrates where police held him from their raid on
        his home last April in Leawood, Kan., Friday, March 29, 2013.
        Harte and his wife Adlynn, who are former CIA employees, sued
        this week to get more information about why sheriff's deputies
        searched their home in the upscale Kansas City suburb last April
        20 as part of Operation Constant Gardener — a sweep conducted by
        agencies in Kansas and Missouri that netted marijuana plants,
        processed marijuana, guns, growing paraphernalia and cash from
        several other locations. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)View Photo
        
        Bob Harte demonstrates where police …
        

LEAWOOD, Kan. (AP) — Two former CIA employees whose Kansashome was
fruitlessly searched for marijuana during a two-state drug sweep claim
they were illegally targeted, possibly because they had bought indoor
growing supplies to raise vegetables.

Adlynn and Robert Harte sued this week to get more information about why
sheriff's deputies searched their home in the upscale Kansas City suburb
of Leawood last April 20 as part of Operation Constant Gardener — a
sweep conducted by agencies in Kansas and Missouri that netted marijuana
plants, processed marijuana, guns, growing paraphernalia and cash from
several other locations.

April 20 long has been used by marijuana enthusiasts to celebrate the
illegal drug and more recently by law enforcement for raids and
crackdowns. But the Hartes' attorney, Cheryl Pilate, said she suspects
the couple's 1,825-square-foot split level was targeted because they had
bought hydroponic equipment to grow a small number of tomatoes and
squash plants in their basement.

"With little or no other evidence of any illegal activity, law
enforcement officers make the assumption that shoppers at the store are
potential marijuana growers, even though the stores are most commonly
frequented by backyard gardeners who grow organically or start seedlings
indoors," the couple's lawsuit says.

The couple filed the suit this week under the Kansas Open Records Act
after Johnson County and Leawood denied their initial records requests,
with Leawood saying it had no relevant records. TheHartes say the public
has an interest in knowing whether the sheriff's department's
participation in the raids was "based on a well-founded belief of
marijuana use and cultivation at the targeted addresses, or whether the
raids primarily served a publicity purpose."

"If this can happen to us and we are educated and have reasonable
resources, how does somebody who maybe hasn't led a perfect life
supposed to be free in this country?" Adlynn Harte said in an interview
Friday.

The suit filed in Johnson County District Court said the couple and
their two children — a 7-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son — were
"shocked and frightened" when deputies armed with assault rifles and
wearing bulletproof vests pounded on the door of their home around 7:30
a.m. last April 20.

"It was just like on the cops TV shows," Robert Harte told The
Associated Press. "It was like 'Zero Dark Thirty' ready to storm the
compound."

During the sweep, the court filing said, the Hartes were told they had
been under surveillance for months, but the couple "know of no basis for
conducting such surveillance nor do they believe such surveillance would
have produced any facts supporting the issuance of a search warrant."

Harte said he built the hydroponic garden with his son a couple of years
ago. He said they didn't use the powerful light bulbs that are sometimes
used to grow marijuana and that the family's electricity usage didn't
change dramatically. Changes in utility usage can sometimes lead
authorities to such operations.

When law enforcement arrived, the family had just six plants — three
tomato plants, one melon plant and two butternut squash plants — growing
in the basement, Harte said.

The suit also said deputies "made rude comments" and implied their son
was using marijuana. A drug-sniffing dog was brought in to help, but
deputies ultimately left after providing a receipt stating, "No items
taken."

Pilate said no one in the Harte family uses illegal drugs and no charges
were filed. The lawsuit noted Adlynn Harte, who works for a financial
planning firm, and Robert Harte, who cares for the couple's children,
each were required to pass rigorous background checks for their previous
jobs working for the CIA in Washington, D.C. Pilate said she couldn't
provide any other details about their CIA employment.

Pilate said any details gleaned from the open records suit could be used
in a future federal civil rights lawsuit.

"You can't go into people's homes and conduct searches without probable
cause," Pilate said.

Leawood City Administrator Scott Lambers said Friday that he couldn't
comment on pending litigation. The sheriff's office also had no comment.

"Obviously with an ongoing lawsuit we are not able to talk about any
details of it until it's been played out in court," said Johnson County
Deputy Tom Erickson.


-- 
ObombA did not win erection, Trotskite RINO Mitt Romney threw the
election.  -- Rush Limbaugh
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://kalos.csdco.com/pipermail/rushtalk/attachments/20130418/63cbdfbf/attachment.html 


More information about the Rushtalk mailing list