Law-enforcement officers raided the wrong house and forced a 77-year-old La Plata County woman on oxygen to the ground last week in search of methamphetamine.
The raid occurred about 11 a.m. June 8, as Virginia Herrick was settling in to watch "The Price is Right." She heard a rustling outside her mobile home in Durango West I and looked out to see several men with gas masks and bulletproof vests, she said.
Herrick went to the back door to have a look.
"I thought there was a gas leak or something," she said.
But before reaching the door, La Plata County Sheriff's deputies shouted "search warrant, search warrant" and barged in with guns drawn, she said. They ordered Herrick to the ground and began searching the home.
"They didn't give me a chance to ask for a search warrant or see a search warrant or anything," she said in a phone interview Thursday. "I'm not about to argue with those big old guys, especially when they've got guns and those big old sledgehammers."
La Plata County Sheriff Duke Schirard and Southwest Drug Task Force Director Lt. Rick Brown confirmed Herrick's story.
Some deputies stayed with Herrick as others searched the house. They entered every bedroom and overturned a mattress in her son's room.
Deputies asked Herrick if she knew a certain man, and she said no. Then they asked what address they were at, and she told them 74 Hidden Lane.
Deputies intended to raid 82 Hidden Lane - the house next door.