Kansas police can use garbage as probable cause to kick down the doors of unsuspecting citizens. Just ask Bob Harte, whose house was recently raided by a SWAT team after investigators discovered tea leaves in a trash can, which they suspected to be marijuana.
According to reports, the whole crooked incursion began after an officer with the Missouri Highway Patrol witnessed Harte entering a Kansas City hydroponics shop and walking out with a small bag. Apparently, that was enough reasonable suspicion for the officer to turn the info over to the local cops and get them to initiate a full-blown investigation.
Incidentally, it was later discovered that Harte had gone to the Green Circle hydroponics shop with his kids to purchase supplies for a basement hydroponic garden his son was building as a science project.
Investigators showed up at the Harte residence on three separate occasions to run surveillance and rummage through their trash in hopes of uncovering the slightest smidgen of evidence that could help them obtain a search warrant.
Records indicate that on the first visit; officers uncovered wet plant material they believed to be marijuana, but they forgot to test it. On the second and third pass through the family’s curbside waste, they discovered the same soggy plant-like substance, which they say tested positive as marijuana, according to a statement.
Yet, strangely, none of the suspected evidence was ever sent to the crime lab for confirmation. Instead, investigators bypassed this important detail and convinced a judge to issue them a search warrant.
The next morning, while Harte, his wife and two children slept, a SWAT team busted into their home and engaged the family in a two-hour shakedown, during which authorities gave no indication as to why they were there other than they were looking for “narcotics.” Kansas state law dictates that officers do not have to give a suspect the warrant until after the search is complete.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Not only did the police not find any marijuana or anything else illegal during the raid but the Harte’s attorney has since filed a lawsuit after lab results determined the wet plant-like substance was, in fact, tea.
The best part is; while police were dumpster diving for evidence to bust the Harte’s for marijuana, they missed a very important detail: The Harte’s are retired CIA employees, with the proper resources to fight crooked law enforcement, which is exactly what they have been doing for the past year.
“This not what justice in the United States is supposed to be. You shouldn't have to have $25,000, even $5,000. You shouldn't have to have that kind of money to find out why people came raiding your house like some sort of police state,” said Bob’s wife Addie during a recent interview.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.