Doubts About Dog-Slaughtering Drug Raid


Police are starting to express some doubt about the violent drug raid on Berwyn Heights, Maryland Mayor Cheye Calvo, his wife, and her mother after they were mailed a package containing marijuana:

The raid, conducted jointly with county police narcotics officers, took place after officers saw Calvo bring a package containing more than 30 pounds of marijuana from his front porch into his house. They had been tracking the package since police dogs sniffed out the presence of drugs at a shipping facility in Arizona.

The package was addressed to Trinity Tomsic, Calvo's wife. But law enforcement sources said last week that they are now investigating the possibility that the mayor and his wife were unwitting recipients and that a deliveryman might have intended to intercept the package as part of a drug smuggling scheme.

The package landed on Calvo's doorstep after police posing as deliverymen brought it to the door and Calvo's mother-in-law asked that it be left on the porch. Police recovered the unopened package from the home Tuesday night but made no arrests. Calvo has said he was interrogated for hours while handcuffed and surrounded by the bloody bodies of his dogs.

So far there have been no arrests, and the police seem to be backing down from the idea that the mayor and his wife are drug dealers.  If it's true that they aren't, I'm sure we'll soon hear lots of apologies to the mayor for not being more careful and thorough, given his esteemed position.

The real question is whether there will be any discussion over the appropriateness of sending a SWAT team into any private home, handcuffing the occupants at gunpoint, and slaughtering the family pets—all over the mere receipt of a mailed package of weed.   I doubt it.

Even if hizzoner turns out to be guilty, it's always worth contextualizing these cases:  We've reached the point where it's commonplace for the government to wage violent, confrontational invasions of private homes over the suspicion of possession of the dried leaves of a plant.