BUTTE COUNTY -- Eighteen law enforcement agents from Butte and Sacramento counties, Oroville Police Department and even the FBI -- many with guns drawn -- raided Ramona Long's home as she watched, recording the incident on her cell phone.
"[It’s] such a violation of my civil rights to have these people invade my property again like this,” Long told FOX40.
Long was indicted along with former Yuba County narcotics officer Christopher Heath for involvement in a drug smuggling operation. She plans to testify against Heath, and believes he still has contacts in a number of law enforcement agencies.
She fears this raid was a message to stay quiet.
"We believe that this raid on Mona's home was an attempt to intimidate her," Long’s attorney Cyrus Zal said.
The official reason for this raid is a probation check up on Randall Irby, Long's fiance. He's on probation in Placer County for two nonviolent misdemeanors, according to Zal.
Butte County deputies told Long they were returning some of Irby's possessions, and once she let them beyond her gate, she says four more cars pulled up, and the raid began.
"It is illegal because a probation search is limited to whoever is on probation -- his body, his person and his home,” Zal said. “They can't search her home because he's on probation. They need a search warrant."
However, Butte County Lt. Al Smith told FOX40 a different story.
"We were not there on Ramona's behalf or to search Ramona,” Smith said.
He doesn’t deny deputies mislead Long to get into her home, but says Irby sent emails to a county supervisor with “veiled threats.” Smith said a previous check on Irby at his home found chemicals that could be used to make explosives.
That’s why, Smith said, there was a heavy show of force, even though they didn’t have a search warrant, and Irby was never charged for making threats or weapons.
“I don't think we had probably cause for a search warrant at that point,” Smith said.
Doing a probation search allowed law enforcement to get around a warrant. Smith denies the search had anything to do with Long or getting access to her home.
But her attorney is not buying it.
"You use logic and reason and try to find out why would 18 armed agents come to a probation search on a misdemeanor guy from another county,” Zal said.