Fitchburg women terrified by FBI sweep

Posted in the Fitchburg Forum

First Prev
of 5
Next Last

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#1 Jan 31, 2012
FITCHBURG -- It was a horror movie come to life.

Judy Sanchez woke Thursday to the sound of heavy footsteps in her stairwell, followed by a loud motor. She got to her kitchen in time to see the blade of a chain saw rip through her front door.

"It was so crazy," Judy Sanchez said. "I was terrified."

Jan. 26 was the day of Operation Red Wolf, a multiagency sweep during which 16 people in Fitchburg were arrested on charges related to gang activity, drug trafficking and illegal gun sales after a two-year investigation by federal, state and local law-enforcement officers.

The people sawing through her door were FBI agents, looking for a gang member suspected of trafficking cocaine. But they went to the wrong address.

Sanchez said the ordeal traumatized her and her 3-year-old daughter, Ji'anni, and she is unsatisfied with the agency's response to the error.

About 10 FBI agents came into her apartment at 391 Elm St., that morning, guns drawn and pointed at her. There was no knock, and they didn't shout that they were from the FBI until after the saw was buzzing through her six-panel front door, she said.

She believes it took about three minutes for them to saw a big rectangle through the door, then kick in the center. She shouted repeatedly that they had the wrong place.

Once the first agent was inside, she was ordered facedown on the floor at gunpoint. Her 3-month-old pit-bull Lexi wet the floor, and she was instructed to grab the dog and hold her. To do so, she said, she had to reach through the dog's urine.
Sanchez doesn't know how long she was held on the floor, but estimates it was between 30 and 45 minutes while her daughter cried in the other room. It was a cold morning, and she was not allowed to put warm clothes on.

"I was still at gunpoint the whole time. I was freezing," Sanchez said.

The FBI agents kept asking her where Luis Vasquez was, and she said she didn't know.

Sanchez and her daughter live in apartment 2R, which is located in the rear of the building. The other apartment on the floor, 2F, is at the front and is the home of Luis R. "Joker" Vasquez, but Sanchez said she only knew him as "Jay."

Vasquez, 41, is believed to be the leader of the local arm of the Sex, Money, Murda gang and was captured in his apartment. He faces up to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and lifetime supervision when released.

Tim Christmas, the former building manager, was called in to install a replacement door in Sanchez' apartment. He estimated the fiberglass, prehung door unit he installed cost about $250.

The FBI will reimburse Lancaster Oaks Development, the company that owns the building, for the door.

Christmas also said he repaired the frame to Vasquez's back door, which was pushed in for entrance.

"This is a big screw-up," Christmas said.

He and Sanchez are both in disbelief that Vasquez could be involved in a gang, saying they thought he was a positive influence in the neighborhood and good with children.

A female FBI agent wrote down a number for Sanchez's landlord to call for reimbursement for the door and the number for Damon Katz, chief counsel for the Boston division of the FBI. Sanchez said she received a quick oral apology that was devoid of remorse.

"Just a little pat on the back and saying 'I'm sorry' is not OK," she said.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#2 Jan 31, 2012
She said chain-sawing through a door may be common practice for the FBI, but it was a traumatic event for her and her daughter.

Sanchez attends classes at Fitchburg State University and didn't go to class Thursday, feeling too disoriented. She's having trouble sleeping now, and her daughter didn't want to go into their bathroom all weekend because it is located next to the door the FBI used.

An FBI spokesman read a prepared statement about the incident.

"The mistake was quickly apparent to the FBI agents who entered the apartment.... The FBI assistant special agent in charge recognized legitimate concerns the resident had about the mistake," the statement read.

The statement maintained that the agent that spoke with Sanchez apologized repeatedly and left her phone number and another number for any "further concerns."

The FBI does not reveal specific operational details about the tactics of an arrest team, such as how long it takes to open a door. The spokesman said the agents typically wield M4 assault rifles and that it's possible the shock of the event confused Sanchez about the length of time everything took.

The Fitchburg Police Department was not involved in the incident. Police spokesman Sgt. Glenn Fossa said he does not have direct knowledge of the details of the incident. He said the concept of compensation for property damage and trauma from a misdirected police raid is too broad a concept to identify a policy for what the department would do in a similar scenario.

http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci...
Just Facts

Southborough, MA

#3 Jan 31, 2012
Illegal search and seizure sounds like it applies here...she should get an attorney and sue the hell out of them.
J low

Leominster, MA

#4 Jan 31, 2012
It was loco man. Juz because I have a gang members name tatooed on my neck don't mean I know him. I thought he worked as a banker or something.
Sophisticated Thug

Westford, MA

#5 Jan 31, 2012
Just Facts wrote:
Illegal search and seizure sounds like it applies here...she should get an attorney and sue the hell out of them.
I do not condone this. Chainsaw? come on. IfI had been running this , first we would have been in the right place and second..the perp would have woke up like any other day and found me calmly sitting at his kitchen table...pleasantly saying" grab your toothbrush and a change of clothes, your done'.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#6 Jan 31, 2012
I wish it were my door they cut through with that chain saw. I'd be planning a nice celebratory vacation right about now just to get the noises and nightmares out of my head...
Bwahahahahahah hahbahahhaa hahahahah...

It's a surprise Darn or Lynch hasn't jumped on this one yet!
Just Facts

Southborough, MA

#7 Jan 31, 2012
Only a matter of time Stamos. Those two never miss an opportunity to rag on law enforcement, although, I would have to say that the FBI Fed up big time this time and shouldn't be allowed to just walk away.
J low

Leominster, MA

#8 Jan 31, 2012
My pitbull is traumatized he don't even wanna bite the neighbors kids.
Questions

Leominster, MA

#9 Jan 31, 2012
Where and who is the the girls father? Why would they pick this apartment? Something smells fishy.
Devils Advocate

Gaithersburg, MD

#10 Jan 31, 2012
Questions wrote:
Where and who is the the girls father? Why would they pick this apartment? Something smells fishy.
The babymama probably doesn't even know!
F n Bunch of Idiots

Fitchburg, MA

#11 Jan 31, 2012
Stamos wrote:
FITCHBURG -- It was a horror movie come to life.
Judy Sanchez woke Thursday to the sound of heavy footsteps in her stairwell, followed by a loud motor. She got to her kitchen in time to see the blade of a chain saw rip through her front door.
"It was so crazy," Judy Sanchez said. "I was terrified."
Jan. 26 was the day of Operation Red Wolf, a multiagency sweep during which 16 people in Fitchburg were arrested on charges related to gang activity, drug trafficking and illegal gun sales after a two-year investigation by federal, state and local law-enforcement officers.
The people sawing through her door were FBI agents, looking for a gang member suspected of trafficking cocaine. But they went to the wrong address.
Sanchez said the ordeal traumatized her and her 3-year-old daughter, Ji'anni, and she is unsatisfied with the agency's response to the error.
About 10 FBI agents came into her apartment at 391 Elm St., that morning, guns drawn and pointed at her. There was no knock, and they didn't shout that they were from the FBI until after the saw was buzzing through her six-panel front door, she said.
She believes it took about three minutes for them to saw a big rectangle through the door, then kick in the center. She shouted repeatedly that they had the wrong place.
Once the first agent was inside, she was ordered facedown on the floor at gunpoint. Her 3-month-old pit-bull Lexi wet the floor, and she was instructed to grab the dog and hold her. To do so, she said, she had to reach through the dog's urine.
Sanchez doesn't know how long she was held on the floor, but estimates it was between 30 and 45 minutes while her daughter cried in the other room. It was a cold morning, and she was not allowed to put warm clothes on.
"I was still at gunpoint the whole time. I was freezing," Sanchez said.
The FBI agents kept asking her where Luis Vasquez was, and she said she didn't know.
Sanchez and her daughter live in apartment 2R, which is located in the rear of the building. The other apartment on the floor, 2F, is at the front and is the home of Luis R. "Joker" Vasquez, but Sanchez said she only knew him as "Jay."
Vasquez, 41, is believed to be the leader of the local arm of the Sex, Money, Murda gang and was captured in his apartment. He faces up to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine and lifetime supervision when released.
Tim Christmas, the former building manager, was called in to install a replacement door in Sanchez' apartment. He estimated the fiberglass, prehung door unit he installed cost about $250.
The FBI will reimburse Lancaster Oaks Development, the company that owns the building, for the door.
Christmas also said he repaired the frame to Vasquez's back door, which was pushed in for entrance.
"This is a big screw-up," Christmas said.
He and Sanchez are both in disbelief that Vasquez could be involved in a gang, saying they thought he was a positive influence in the neighborhood and good with children.
A female FBI agent wrote down a number for Sanchez's landlord to call for reimbursement for the door and the number for Damon Katz, chief counsel for the Boston division of the FBI. Sanchez said she received a quick oral apology that was devoid of remorse.
"Just a little pat on the back and saying 'I'm sorry' is not OK," she said.
Lynch when will your investigation into these matters begin? Seems like they are a bigger group of thug's then you claim e FPD is.
AAA

Westbrook, ME

#12 Jan 31, 2012
Sophisticated Thug wrote:
<quoted text>I do not condone this. Chainsaw? come on. IfI had been running this , first we would have been in the right place and second..the perp would have woke up like any other day and found me calmly sitting at his kitchen table...pleasantly saying" grab your toothbrush and a change of clothes, your done'.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH. You are a funny one. What a fantasy world you are living in. Why don't you just come out and admit you are a mall cop, I bet you wear a bullet proof vest and several shirts to give yourself the appearance that you have a big chest.
Sophisticated Thug

Westford, MA

#13 Jan 31, 2012
AAA wrote:
<quoted text>HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH. You are a funny one. What a fantasy world you are living in. Why don't you just come out and admit you are a mall cop, I bet you wear a bullet proof vest and several shirts to give yourself the appearance that you have a big chest.
I bet you stuff your bra...just kiddin. Look, using a chainsaw for 1/2 an hour to gain access is not exactly using the element of suprise. I advised against this from the beginning. A simple lock pick and a little patience and the guy coulod have been taken without all this broohaha. Nobody listened and now we have a black eye with the public.
Just Facts

Southborough, MA

#14 Jan 31, 2012
Thug,

They have a black eye because they entered the wrong apartment completely and traumatized a woman and child...wouldn't have mattered how they entered...looks like the FBI should provide some reading classes for their law enforcement agents.

Can you say remedial??
Chucks Case is BS

Marlborough, MA

#15 Jan 31, 2012
Sanchez is lucky that she wasn't shot dead in this F up. Just last year in Framingham Mass, a SWAT Team stormed into the apartment of an elderly retired State of Massachusetts worker and shot him dead, while looking for two low level petty drug dealers. The story was QUICKLY pulled from the media. But, when a cop is shot dead; we get 3 solid weeks of nonstop media coverage; while the bag pipes play and every last lawman in a 500 mile radius shows up to "pay their respects".

Again, Sanchez is lucky that the worst that happened is that her door was ripped apart; she was held on the floor for 45 minutes; and her poor child was freezing her A$$ off; while everyone stood around with their thumbs up their fannies and started to figure out who to blame for the whole ugly mess.

That's America these days Folks. At any time your door could get smashed in and you could get slammed to the ground and held at gunpoint by an out of control gang (the police)....and if you are lucky; you won't be shot dead in the F-up.....
Sophisticated Thug

Westford, MA

#16 Jan 31, 2012
Chucks Case is BS wrote:
Sanchez is lucky that she wasn't shot dead in this F up. Just last year in Framingham Mass, a SWAT Team stormed into the apartment of an elderly retired State of Massachusetts worker and shot him dead, while looking for two low level petty drug dealers. The story was QUICKLY pulled from the media. But, when a cop is shot dead; we get 3 solid weeks of nonstop media coverage; while the bag pipes play and every last lawman in a 500 mile radius shows up to "pay their respects".
Again, Sanchez is lucky that the worst that happened is that her door was ripped apart; she was held on the floor for 45 minutes; and her poor child was freezing her A$$ off; while everyone stood around with their thumbs up their fannies and started to figure out who to blame for the whole ugly mess.
That's America these days Folks. At any time your door could get smashed in and you could get slammed to the ground and held at gunpoint by an out of control gang (the police)....and if you are lucky; you won't be shot dead in the F-up.....
Training...TRAINING TRAINING TRAINING.. I can't say it enough , training! Us that larned our stuff on the streets...coming up the hard way, not enough to eat..etc. we learned because to not learn was certain death. TRAINING... the chainsaw ruse is a dead give away that these guys need training and I mean training.
The Insider

Sagamore Beach, MA

#17 Jan 31, 2012
Sophisticated Thug wrote:
<quoted text>Training...TRAINING TRAINING TRAINING.. I can't say it enough , training! Us that larned our stuff on the streets...coming up the hard way, not enough to eat..etc. we learned because to not learn was certain death. TRAINING... the chainsaw ruse is a dead give away that these guys need training and I mean training.
Kinda tough to pick a lock when there are 2x4's across the inside of the door, 6 dead bolts and a security floor door pole holding the door.

Kinda tough to surprise them when there are exterior surveillance cameras covering the perimeter of the house.

Sounds like to me you are the biggest fake or you grew up on the streets of Ashby !

Please get some training and education before you get injured trying defend yourself against a chipmunk !

Be safe little grasshopper !
The Insider

Sagamore Beach, MA

#18 Jan 31, 2012
Sophisticated Thug wrote:
<quoted text>I do not condone this. Chainsaw? come on. IfI had been running this , first we would have been in the right place and second..the perp would have woke up like any other day and found me calmly sitting at his kitchen table...pleasantly saying" grab your toothbrush and a change of clothes, your done'.
Sorry thug, you really need to stick to those video games and spy movies.

Most gang amd drug houses have hanging fish hooks throught the back hallways. The apartments are not numbered of course, duh !

Obviously the hallway lights do not work.

The light switches near the entry doors have wires leading from them to a can of gasoline. Flip the switch and kaboom !

Oh thugmaster you need to be streetsmart! Not sure what streets you came up on?

You could have not been much of a thug or else you would know these basic traps.
Sophisticated Thug

Westford, MA

#19 Jan 31, 2012
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry thug, you really need to stick to those video games and spy movies.
Most gang amd drug houses have hanging fish hooks throught the back hallways. The apartments are not numbered of course, duh !
Obviously the hallway lights do not work.
The light switches near the entry doors have wires leading from them to a can of gasoline. Flip the switch and kaboom !
Oh thugmaster you need to be streetsmart! Not sure what streets you came up on?
You could have not been much of a thug or else you would know these basic traps.
Turn of the T.V. and skip the bird seed. None of this stuff came into play , as you would know if you knew what you were talking about. This was not an attack on Escobars compound. the reason for the myths that you seem to believe in are for additional funding and CYA contingencie plans. " flip the switch and kaboom" .. turn it off Mcgyver.
AAA

Westbrook, ME

#20 Jan 31, 2012
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry thug, you really need to stick to those video games and spy movies.
Most gang amd drug houses have hanging fish hooks throught the back hallways. The apartments are not numbered of course, duh !
Obviously the hallway lights do not work.
The light switches near the entry doors have wires leading from them to a can of gasoline. Flip the switch and kaboom !
Oh thugmaster you need to be streetsmart! Not sure what streets you came up on?
You could have not been much of a thug or else you would know these basic traps.
Everything the FBI did was for there own protection, drug dealers are known to have in place all sorts of barriers to keep out law enforcment. The FBI used the quickest method to get inside, they made a mistake, it happens. Your right, the "thug" isn't as smart as he appears. Drug dealers use the same kind of traps that the Vietcong used againd US soliders in Vietnam. "Thug" watches to many Jackie Chan movies.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 5
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Fitchburg Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Fitchburg High, Fitchburg State team up to prov... 51 min BillyBob 2
Police: Man found in FSC bathroom arrested - Se... (Dec '08) 13 hr Jtn 16
Scott Bonnevie 13 hr Jtn 2
Man charged with assaulting ex-girlfriend - Sen... (Sep '09) Mon Jtn 73
Numbers of homeless increase in region Sun Tammy from Miami 10
Looking to move to Fitchburg Sun Tranny from Miami 17
Drug disposal effort gets billboard boost Sep 13 Tammy from Miami 1
•••

Fitchburg News Video

•••
Fitchburg Dating

more search filters

less search filters

•••

Fitchburg Jobs

•••
Enter and win $5000
•••
•••
•••

Fitchburg People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

•••

Fitchburg News, Events & Info

Click for news, events and info in Fitchburg
•••

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]
•••