“DEA – Open the door.” According to press reports, these words transformed a restful Sunday evening a few months ago into a living nightmare for a Honolulu man staying at a friend’s house in Honolulu.
The man was in another room when he heard a loud voice from the front door stating that the speaker and his two companions were agents of the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration. The man told police that he rushed into the living room when he heard the demand and saw three men standing at the front door.
According to press reports, the three men all wore ski masks and jackets, and all represented themselves to be agents of the DEA. The three men were easily able to kick in the front door. One of them told the victim that he must give them the combination to the safe “or you’re gone.”
The man told police he attempted to negotiate with the intruders, but one of them merely held him to the ground while the other two ransacked the house. Police said that the three men were seeking access to the safe. Unfortunately for the victim, the safe was not his and he did not know the combination. In the end, the suspects left with the victim’s wallet and cellphone. None of the suspects have been apprehended.
A DEA spokesperson said that the DEA has a far different protocol for seeking entry top a home. DEA agents routinely use marked squad cars to identify themselves, and they always carry two sets of identification.
The suspects in this case will face very serious criminal charges if they are arrested. Not only will they face robbery charges, but they could also face charges of impersonating a federal agent. This charge alone carries a penalty of up to three years in federal prison.
Anyone accused of a crime, no matter how shocking or notorious, has the right to a defense. Attorneys help defendants understand their rights and assess their legal options.