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Henry K. Lee, SFChronicle: Alameda medical pot raid mistakenly targets TV reporter’s home

Alameda medical pot raid mistakenly targets TV reporter’s home
by Henry K. Lee, September 15, 2011

chers—

sounds like sloppy, lazy, arrogant investigative “work,” to me, not a mistake.

—rk

ALAMEDA –Police and FBI agents arrested a drug suspect in Alameda on Wednesday, but not before mistakenly trying to raid a home across the street belonging to a network TV reporter and her political consultant husband.

Alameda and Martinez police, together with FBI agents [!? — not DEA? —rk], pounded on the door of CBS News contributor Priya David Clemens and her husband, Alex Clemens, at their home on Lina Avenue at about 7 a.m.

Alex Clemens, a political consultant and lobbyist in San Francisco, said he peered out the window and saw “four guns raised at my face.” Several agents pulled him outside and put his hands behind his back, apparently preparing to handcuff him, he said.

He told them that his wife was upstairs nursing their 7-month-old daughter and mentioned that she was a correspondent for CBS News.

“That seemed to give the officers some pause,” he said. “I can only speculate that they had some knowledge that they were not searching for a correspondent with CBS News or a political consultant.”

In fact, Martinez police were searching for Sang Ung, 43, who made bail after being arrested in August in connection with an indoor marijuana-growing operation.

Officers intended to carry out a follow-up raid Wednesday, but didn’t realize that Ung had sold the four-bedroom home to the Clemenses about three months ago and is renting a home across the street.

Police and the FBI agents apologized, Clemens said.

After getting a new search warrant, they walked across the street and arrested Ung and seized two handguns, a rifle and a shotgun, Martinez police Lt. Jon Sylvia said. Ung is facing potential federal charges.

Priya David Clemens, 36, said she was surprised the agents didn’t do “more of a background check” on the home, but she would give them the benefit of the doubt. “I appreciate that they’re looking for bad guys,” she said.

“It was a surreal experience, I gotta say,” her husband said. “I made it 44 years without having guns pointed at my face, and then all of a sudden having a whole bunch all at once.”

 

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