Education Department Denies ‘SWAT’ Raid Was Due to Defaulted Student Loans
Posted Jun 8, 2011 2:00 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Updated: The Department of Education is refuting a claim by a California man who said a SWAT team broke down his door in a search for evidence of his estranged wife’s defaulted student loans.
The Department of Education said in a statement that its inspector general did carry out a search warrant, but the raid was related to a criminal investigation, Reason.com reports.
Kenneth Wright of Stockton had told News10/KXTV that the SWAT team entered his home at about 6 a.m. on Tuesday, grabbing him and his three children and forcing them into a patrol car while police searched the home. Wright had maintained the officers were looking for his wife, who had defaulted on student loans.
News10 had checked with the Department of Education, which confirmed that it issued a warrant but refused to discuss the case further. The Stockton Police Department said it sent one officer and patrol car to the scene to assist the federal agents.
After Wright's claim received national attention, the Department of Education issued a new statement by Deputy Press Secretary Daren Briscoe, who noted the criminal investigation. "The Inspector General's Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments," he said.
"Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we can't comment on the specifics of the case," Briscoe said. "We can say that the OIG's office conducts about 30 to 35 search warrants a year on issues such as bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds."
Wright told News10 his children were traumatized by the incident. “All I want is an apology for me and my kids and for them to get me a new door," Wright told the broadcast station.
Hat tip to Reason.com.
Last updated at 2 p.m. to add additional developments.
Huffington Post: "Department Of Education: Raid Of California Man's Home Was Not Related To Defaulted Student Loans"