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Posted at 03:40 PM ET, 06/08/2011

Education Department agents raids California home


Kenneth Wright shows the warrant that was used by the S.W.A.T. team to enter his home. (Screengrab from News 10)
Correction:

The Department of Education did not conduct the search by a SWAT team, nor does the Department of Education own or operate a SWAT Team, as was originally reported. Read DoE’s statement on the story here.

U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General special agents broke into a California home at 6 a.m. Tuesday and reportedly roughed up a man because of a student aid issue involving his estranged wife. His wife was not present.

In 2010, the Post’s Valerie Strauss reported that the Education Department was purchasing 27 Remington Brand Model 870 police 12-gauge shotguns to replace old firearms used by Education’s Office of Inspector General, which is the law enforcement arm of the department. DoE said the guns were necessary to help enforce “waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs, and operations.”

Kenneth Wright says his house was raided because of his wife’s unpaid loans. One blogger speculated that we finally know what those guns are being used for.

But the Department of Education told Reason Magazine Wednesday that the special agents raided the house because of a criminal investigation, not a student loan.

“The Inspector General's Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments,” the statement said. DoE did not get into the specifics of the case, but says “the offices conducts raids on issues such as bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds.”

Wright says he was grabbed by the neck and handcuffed as the officers searched his house. Stockton says he was put in a police car in his underwear along with his three young children.

“They busted down my door for this. It wasn’t even me,” Wright told the local news station News 10. “All I want is an apology for me and my kids and for them to get me a new door.”

Wright has no previous criminal record, according to News 10.

News 10 has removed their original story that said Wright was raided because of defaulted student loans, and has published a new story that reflects both sides of the story.

By  |  03:40 PM ET, 06/08/2011

 
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