Mom, daughter furious over raid by feds

September 11, 2009 4:28:28 PM PDT
Federal agents stormed an apartment looking for drugs, but it appears they made a mistake. About the only thing they found was a picture of two women in bikinis at the beach. It was the mother and her teenage daughter who lived there, and now they are furious.

They burst in and threw me on the floor, says Calixta Guerrero. It was the start of what she and her teenage daughter describe as a nightmare.

Thursday morning Federal agents, backed up by NYPD officers, stormed into their apartment in Washington Heights. In a flash, both women were handcuffed, while the apartment was tossed.

The DEA was executing a search warrant, which describes the apartment as a stash house. Agents searched through the family's belongings looking for evidence. At one point, 19-year old Jessica Suriel says she was humiliated when a cop browsed through pictures of her and her mother in bikinis on her laptop.

"I was just hurt. I had so many emotions, I can't even describe it," she said.

The DEA says it had an "authorized warrant in an ongoing investigation."

The suspect, Carlos Ruiz, was arrested several blocks away by other federal agents. Turns out, Ruiz did live in the building at one time. It was years ago and he lived in a different apartment. Guerrero and her daughter say they do not know Ruiz.

The family got another visit from police on Friday -- this time a friendly one by officers from the 33rd precinct checking in on them.

The two women say they still want an apology from the feds, and may need counseling to help them get over the trauma.

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