Can I find out why the FBI raided my neighbor's house?
September 28, 2013 6:36 PM   Subscribe

A few weeks ago there was a pretty intense raid on my neighbor's house that involved flashbangs, the FBI, and the DEA. The whole shebang lasted about 3 hours, and although there were heavily armed and armored agents standing around in the street it clearly wasn't a "standoff" situation. Eventually all the armed people disappeared, some evidence tech type people removed some things from the house, a vehicle was towed, and a few (but not all) of the house's occupants were arrested.

I do not know these neighbors at all, nor does anyone on our street. I thought that something might make it on to the news eventually, but nothing has ever showed up.

My first question is HOW did this not make it on to the news?? Although I live in a pretty large city, our local news is known for making a huge deal out of not-huge things... it's a "slow news day" pretty often. Surely federal raids are not that commonplace...

Secondly, is there any way to satisfy my own (admittedly morbid) curiosity about what the heck is going on down the street? Although I realize it's really none of my business, at the same time I feel like neighbors should be entitled to know if there is a murderer/drug dealer/kidnapper/otherwise criminal living next door. I'm thinking maybe there is an obscure FBI website that reports all of their activity? Probably not... but if there is, someone here surely knows!
posted by raspberrE to Law & Government (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
How is it none of your business if the FBI is throwing around flashbangs and bringing machine guns to your street??

Anyway, you can call the FBI. Call the regional office for your region and someone will answer, you can ask them.
posted by cairdeas at 6:43 PM on September 28, 2013

There might be something on the page for your local field office - google "fbi office [your city]." The one for San Francisco (I just looked) has a phone number and email address, and a news blog. There's a link to press releases, too, and there might be something there about the raid in your neighborhood.
posted by rtha at 6:54 PM on September 28, 2013

In the very likely event that the FBI had a search warrant before conducting this raid, you should be able to look it up in the U.S. District Courthouse that governs your city, though there may be a bit of a delay between the time of the raid and the time when the document filed with the clerk's office. Most federal court documents are now available for a small fee online, but in my experience you still have to go to the courthouse itself to look up search warrants. If you call the clerk's office first, you may be able to find somebody who can tell you if there is a file in your neighbor's name. You'll need to know your neighbor's name first, though. If you provide information about where you live, I may be able to provide more specific advice.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 6:58 PM on September 28, 2013

Actually, if you send me a private mefi mail, I can use my PACER (federal court document account) to search for your neighbor's name. I don't look up search warrants often enough to be certain, but if the document is filed I believe it will be listed as *existing* in the court database, just not accessible for viewing. Again, based on my most recent experience, one must physically visit the courthouse to view federal search warrants.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:01 PM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

Wow, rtha for the win. I don't know how I didn't think to check the local field office's website! There was a press release... big cocaine bust citywide apparently. Also seized guns, night vision goggles, body armor, and over $100K in cash. What friendly neighbors I have!

Again, bizarre that it never made the local news!

Croutonsupafreak, thanks for the offer... however, I don't even know my neighbor's name. Actually, I don't know which of the many adults present even actually live in the house.
posted by raspberrE at 7:09 PM on September 28, 2013 [7 favorites]

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