UPDATE: Further information being released indicate this story might not be true. We are investigating. - eds.
UPDATE #2: Though the original news source has taken down the original article after the Dept. of Ed. denied that the raid was due to unpaid loans, but instead "fraudulent" activities, they've updated the story as follows:
[oldembed width="400" height="297" src="https://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" flashvars="omnitureAccountID=gntbcstkxtv,gntbcstglobal&pageContentCategory=video&pageContentSubcategory=&marketName=Sacramento, CA:kxtv&division=Broadcast&SSTSCode=&videoId=984207023001&playerID=35146384001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAACC1lKhk~,ZvV6UsgbjjbyRIyjCwZ1LlCJagPsiGNo&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" resize="1" fid="22"]
After the Department of Education raided the home of a Stockton man Tuesday morning, officials said the search was part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
Kenneth Wright, after retaining a Sacramento lawyer, gave News10 the full original search warrant he was given by federal agents Tuesday.
An official with the U.S. Department of Education returned phone calls to News 10 Wednesday morning, saying the search warrant is part of a criminal investigation and not because of unpaid student financial aid loans.
However, the official would not say why the department is investigating the Wrights.
At 6 a.m. Tuesday, Wright said he woke up to what he thought was a S.W.A.T team breaking down his door. As Wright came downstairs in his boxer shorts, he said the officers barged through his front door.
Wright said an officer grabbed him by the neck and led him outside on his front lawn.
"He had his knee on my back and I had no idea why they were there," Wright said.
According to Wright, officers also woke his three young children, ages 3, 9, and 11, and put them in a Stockton police patrol car with him. Officers then searched his house.
"They put me in handcuffs in that hot patrol car for six hours, traumatizing my kids," Wright said.
As it turned out, the person a team of federal agents were looking for - Wright's estranged wife Michelle - was not there.
Even with the caveats that this was in the investigation of criminal activity, the actions seem excessive to me. Cryn Johannsen writes on why this story is resonating fear on both the left and the right.
The use of force by the Department resonated with countless readers. Many of them wrote on Facebook pages and tweeted, "It's scary. What if that happened to me?" . . . "I'm close to defaulting on my loans. Will the Department break down my door?"
We all know that there is no way out of this debt, especially if you fall on hard times. The system has been rigged in such a way that allows companies, like Sallie Mae, to benefit from keeping people in debt. Sallie Mae has $146 billion of federal loans on its books. One analyst said, "They have this cash cow which is the legacy portfolio." Hear that, folks? They are making money off of indentured educated people! Make no mistake - they don't want this 'cash cow' to go away. No one talks about the fact that FFELP is still alive. The administration might have put an end to it, but those loans are still out there and part of these loan sharks' portfolios. So, if you default on any federal loans, you're life is pretty much ruined, whereas the IRS has the power to resolve issues with distressed taxpayers. Both parties can come up with a solution and move on. Student debtors have no such luck. But since we're seen as a 'cash cow,' why would anyone in power want that to change? I'm sure those guys over at Sallie Mae , who live in luxurious mansions on the east coast don't want this to change. Neither do the schools. They all control the money, whereas the rest of us are victims of these hucksters. But I digress.
Second, the use of such excessive force was uncalled for. Why an individual who is being sought for fraud warrants a SWAT team -- as it was originally reported -- suggests how far right this country has moved.
Damn....I think this might be a little overkill in the collections department:
The Department of Education isn't generally seen as the threatening powerhouse that say the Department of Defense or even public safety offices are. Until now....
Last week a father of 3 had his door broken down by a SWAT team looking for the man's wife who had defaulted on her student loans. They threw him to the ground, handcuffed him, put him in a patrol car for 6 hours, and traumatized his kids.
Holy crap...when did we start sending in SWAT teams for loan defaults? You know, I'll admit that I got behind on my loan payments after I split up with my ex and I had to move and find a new job and start a new life. The loan people were surprisingly understanding, giving me a year's amnesty to get my life pulled together. I'm going to give the Dept. of Ed. the benefit of doubt that they at least tried to reach the wife via telephone first, but still...is this the best use of taxpayer dollars?