Police Raid Maryland Mayor's home, seize drugs, kill dogs as one runs away, cops killed dogs for sport.
Federal officials have opened a civil rights investigation into a police narcotics raid on the home of a Maryland mayor in which police burst in without knocking and shot the mayor's two dogs to death.
Berwyn Heights, Maryland, Mayor Cheye Calvo comforts wife Trinity Tomsic at a news conference Thursday. Mayor Cheye Calvo of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, and his mother-in-law were handcuffed and forced to kneel on the floor during the July 29 raid, which police said was part of an investigation into a scheme in which drugs apparently were sent to unsuspecting people.
Prince George's County police, who were in charge of the raid, issued a statement Friday clearing the couple of involvement and expressing "regret." The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Maryland are investigating the incident, FBI spokesman Richard Wolf said Friday. Calvo had asked for the federal investigation. "We lost our family dogs," he said Thursday. "We did it at the hands of sheriff's deputies who burst through our front door, rifles blazing.
Prince George's County Police Chief Melvin High (HIS PHOTO) to resign.
BERWYN HEIGHTS, Maryland — A small town mayor whose house was raided and dogs were killed by police appears to be an innocent victim of a drug smuggling scheme, authorities said. Police kicked in the door and stormed the home of the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, shooting two black Labradors and seizing an unopened package with 32 pounds of marijuana inside. But the drugs evidently did not belong to him or his wife.
Click here for the Mayor's video on the killing of his dogs and the raid.
Police say Cheye Calvo and his wife (see photo) appeared to be victims of a plan by two men to smuggle millions of dollars worth of marijuana by having it delivered to about a half-dozen unsuspecting recipients. The two men under arrest include a FedEx package deliveryman; investigators said the deliveryman would drop off a package outside a home, and the other man would come by a short time later and pick it up.
A furious Calvo said Thursday that he and his wife, Trinity Tomsic, are asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the July 29 raid. "Trinity was an innocent victim and random victim," Calvo said outside his two-story, red-brick house in this middle-class Washington suburb of about 3,000 people. "We were harmed by the very people who took an oath to protect us."
Calvo insisted the couple's dogs were gentle creatures and said police apparently killed them "for sport," gunning down one of them as it was running away. "Our dogs were our children," said the 37-year-old Calvo. "They were the reason we bought this house because it had a big yard for them to run in."
Prince George's County Police Chief Melvin High (HIS PHOTO) said Wednesday that Calvo and his family were "most likely ... innocent victims," but he would not rule out their involvement, and he defended the way the raid was conducted. He and other officials did not apologize for killing the dogs, saying the officers felt threatened.
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - Prince George's County Police Chief Melvin C. High is resigning next month. High announced his decision in an e-mail to staff members Wednesday. The 63-year-old has been chief of the 1,600-member department for five years. He came to the county from Norfolk and had been an assistant chief in the D.C. police department High says he'll step down Aug. 31
Police announced Wednesday they had arrested two men suspected in a plot to smuggle 417 pounds (189 kilograms) of marijuana, and seized a total of $3.6 million in pot. Investigators said the package that arrived on Calvo's porch had been sent from Los Angeles via FedEx, and they had been tracking it ever since it drew the attention of a drug-sniffing dog in Arizona.
Calvo's defenders — including the Berwyn Heights police chief, who said his department should have been alerted ahead of time — said police had no right to enter the home without knocking. But officials insisted they acted within the law, saying the operation was compromised when Calvo's mother-in-law saw officers approaching the house and screamed. That could have given someone time to grab a gun or destroy evidence, authorities said.
In addition to being the part-time mayor, Calvo works at a nonprofit foundation that runs boarding schools. His wife is a state finance officer. The case is the latest embarrassment for Prince George's County law enforcement. A former police officer was sentenced in May to 45 years in prison for shooting two furniture deliverymen at his home last year, one of them fatally. He claimed that they attacked him. In June, a suspect jailed in the death of a police officer was found strangled in his cell.
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