Feds spying on customers to get leads on drug busts
Drug Enforcement Administration agents stormed into an Illinois woman’s home and arrested her after she shopped for some organic fertilizer in a local garden store.
Police reports released as part of a lawsuit detail how Four DEA agents and five local cops from Shorewood descended on 46 year old Angela Kirking’s home at 5am last October.
The raid was a culmination of a MONTH long stake out, during which feds searched through Kirking’s trash, monitored her electricity usage, and generally spied on her activities, all in the belief that she was growing marijuana.
A trip to an indoor garden center sealed the deal for the feds when Kirking emerged with “a green plastic bag containing unknown items.”
Speaking with local media Kirking described the raid, noting “They had a gun pointed at me when they said, ‘Are there any illegal substances in your house?’”
Kirking was eventually charged with just two misdemeanors, as the feds turned up a paltry 9.3 grams of marijuana in her study, as well as a book on growing marijuana and some weighing scales.
Kirking’s attorney is demanding that the case be thrown out of court, claiming that the search warrant cops obtained was bogus.
“The lady comes under investigation simply because she shopped at a particular store,” Jeff Tomczak said during a Friday hearing in front of Will County Judge Bennett Braun.
The search warrant was granted after a DEA agent wrote that he was staking out the garden store, Midwest Hydroganics, because previous surveillance there had “led to the arrests of subjects for production of cannabis sativa plants and possession of cannabis.”
Kirking claims that her purchase at the store consisted of a bag of organic fertilizer for her hybrid hibiscus plant. She explained that she opted for organic fertilizer because she eats the plant.
DEA agents also managed to get hold of Kirking’s electric bills and claimed that they were “consistently higher,” than her neighbours, arguing that a search warrant should be issued.
When asked if she would shop at the garden store again, Kirking replied “I’d love to send all my friends there to see how far they take this.”