FBI breaks down door to wrong apartment in drug raid
POSTED: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 8:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The FBI broke down the door to the wrong apartment as part of a raid on January 26, frightening the family inside.
The raid was called Operation Red Wolf, a two-year investigation into drugs and weapons that led them to the second floor of a Fitchburg, Massachusetts apartment building.
"I took two steps, face the second door, and I heard the click of a gun, and saying, ‘FBI, get down,’ so I laid down on my living room floor,” Judy Sanchez said.
Judy Sanchez described the terror she awoke to Thursday morning when FBI agents chain-sawed their way into her apartment during an early morning gang-related raid.
“I was screaming, ‘You have the wrong apartment, you have the wrong apartment,’ over fifty times. And then I seen the big blade coming down my door,” Sanchez said.
Meanwhile, her 3-year-old daughter, Ji’anni, was crying hysterically in the other room, but the FBI wouldn't let Sanchez move off the floor.
"It was very cold, doors were open, they wouldn’t let me get up to get my jacket or even so much as get my daughter. It was horrible," said Sanchez.
The federal agents finally realized they had targeted the wrong apartment, and eventually apprehended the suspect, Luis Vasquez, who lived next door to Sanchez.
The FBI released a statement on Tuesday saying in part, “The agent repeatedly apologized for the mistake," and reimbursed her for the damaged door.
But for Sanchez, who now sleeps with a baseball bat next to her bed, it wasn’t enough.
“Anytime anybody knocks, my daughter freezes up. A two-year investigation and you still knock down the wrong door? That’s crazy,” said Sanchez.
Vasquez was arrested and charged.
If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.