Police chief expresses regret over drug raid

August 09, 2008|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,Sun Reporter

Prince George's County police Chief Melvin C. High said yesterday that a suburban Washington mayor and his wife were "innocent victims of drug traffickers" and expressed regret for the loss of the couple's dogs during a raid on his home last week.

Meanwhile, the FBI has opened an investigation into the actions of the county police officers who burst into the house of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo and shot the dogs. Calvo and his mother-in-law were handcuffed after the officers mistakenly suspected he was involved in shipping marijuana to his home.

Special Agent Richard Wolf, a spokesman for the FBI's Baltimore field office, said the agency has opened a civil rights investigation upon the request of Calvo. He said the investigation will monitor the internal probe that the Prince George's County Police Department has begun into police conduct during last week's raid on Calvo's home.

Cpl. Stephen Pacheco, a county police spokesman, said the agency has begun a review of the incident that is common in cases where force is used by police, "to make sure everything was done correctly."

In a statement released yesterday, High said: "The Calvo family members were the apparent victims of a local drug ring. I called him to express my sorrow and regret for that and for the loss of the family's beloved dogs."

High stopped short of apologizing for the actions of the officers, according to the Associated Press.

Last week, county police officers barged into the home with a warrant after they intercepted a package of marijuana addressed to the mayor's wife, Trinity Tomsic.

This week, Prince George's county police arrested two men who they said had orchestrated a plot to deliver hundreds of pounds of marijuana to several unsuspecting residents in the area, which they would then intercept in an effort to avoid detection by law enforcement.

gus.sentementes@baltsun.com

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