In the early morning hours of July 22, 2016, members of the Fountain, Colorado SWAT team raided the home of Eli Olivas and his girlfriend, Marisela Chavez. They had a search warrant signed by a judge and were looking for marijuana, firearms and ammunition.
Olivas, a former Special Forces Infantryman who was also a medic and received numerous decorations for his service conduct, is a legally registered medical marijuana patient. Under Colorado law, he is allowed to grow up to 99 plants. Police seized only 18 plants, which were grown in a greenhouse behind a 6-foot tall locked privacy fence. Law enforcement also found several weapons.
Now, Olivas and his attorney are asking for those weapons back as well over $100,000 in damages in a lawsuit filed earlier this month. Not only does Olivas feel he was wronged by the raid, but also by the treatment he received from law enforcement, which includes leaving Olivas and his girlfriend sitting, handcuffed, on the ground just a few feet from the exhaust pipe of a running police car.
But that’s not all; Olivas also suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his years in combat.
“The unconscionable aggression of the police would have traumatized any person, but given plaintiff Olivas’ history serving his country in combat, it affected him exponentially more severely and it has caused a relapse of his PTSD symptoms,” the lawsuit says.
Police also destroyed Olivas’ gate and left his girlfriend in a nightgown, as well as further exacerbating a shoulder injury she suffered from when they left her in handcuffs. According to the lawsuit, there was no evidence she had committed a crime whatsoever.
One can easily imagine all of the things that could have gone wrong in what looks like an unnecessary raid: Olivas had various firearms and the training to use them; this could have resulted in multiple injuries and/or deaths. All to bust a decorated combat veteran who was growing well below the legal limit of plants in a locked, enclosed space.
“At the end of the day he was safe, the public was safe and we were safe,” Fountain Police Chief Chris Heberer said of the raid. A rather nice way of saying “no one died this time.”
And when you think about it, who were those plants hurting? What threat did those 18 plants pose to society? Who is safer now that those plants are gone?
this story about the raid in Colorado, was just what happen to my son and me in Tucson, Az. they took my son’s plants that were legal and destroyed my home ripping doors off hinges for no reason. nothing was locked. they tore the grow room completely apart for no reason. they said there might have been a lot of cash in the walls. note the back side of the walls were in my pole barn and were not cover. then they took all of my hand guns said it was to protect them left all the long guns. said they would give them back when I got home from Mich. Oh by the way I was at my brother’s wife’s funeral when they did this. of course I never got my hand guns back they didn’t take my jeep because they thought it had a big loan on it they would not have been able to make money on that. they did put a lean on my property and tried to extort 35,000 from me but I got a lawyer to stop that and they took everything of any value out of the house and grow room. I guess its the same every where they storm in to make money for there depts.. I was a cop for almost 14 years and never have I seen it like it is today. the police and the justice system seem to make people not respect either. I have lost all respect for these people and the justice system it is all so corrupt. I can’t believe how cops lie under oath and think nothing of it. Its like I’m going to win right or wrong.
the cops in this country are out of control,they have become common thief’s. they destroy property like children having a rowdy party.and they treat people like they have no rights. Never trust a cop
All driven by the “civil forfeiture” laws that seem to ignore the 4th Amendment. Turns cops into profit centers. “Guys, the department is a little sort of funds to pay your overtime, so go steal some stuff from a citizen who hasn’t done anything wrong.”