Just received an e-mail from Department of Education Deputy Press Secretary Daren Briscoe in regards to this morning's news that a SWAT team was sent to execute a warrant on the estranged husband of a student-loan defaulter. Briscoe sends along this statement from Press Secretary Justin Hamilton:
Yesterday, the Depart of Education's office of inspector general executed a search warrant at Stockton California residence with the presence of local law enforcement authorities.
While it was reported in local media that the search was related to a defaulted student loan, that is incorrect. This is related to a criminal investigation. The Inspector General's Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments.
Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we can't comment on the specifics of the case. We can say that the OIG's office conducts about 30-35 search warrants a year on issues such as bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds.
All further questions on this issue should be directed to the Department of Education's Inspector General's Office.
This will certainly come as a relief to Millenial deadbeats, but the notion that "bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds" is all it takes to get a paramilitary squad to bang down your door at 6 a.m, handcuff you in your boxers, and throw your three pre-teen children into the back seat of a squad car, all in the service of a warrant aimed at someone who no longer lives in your home, is frankly every bit as terrifying.
Unless and until we hear that this "criminal investigation" involves some kind of imminent threat of violence, there will be no margin of excuse for it, only new opportunities for bureaucrats and commentators to demonstrate that they are perfectly content living in and even contributing to a police state.
UPDATE: News10 ABC reports that it was the DoE, not Stocktown SWAT, doing the heavy lifting here:
A U.S. government official confirmed for News10 Wednesday morning federal agents with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), not local S.W.A.T., served the search warrant. [...]
He went on to say OIG is a semi-independent branch of the U.S. Department of Education that executes warrants for criminal offenses such as student aid fraud and embezzlement of federal aid. [...]
The Stockton Police Department said it was asked by federal agents to provide one officer and one patrol car just for a police presence when carrying out the search warrant.
Police officers did not participate in breaking Wright's door, handcuffing him, or searching his home.