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DEA apologizes to Tennessee family for raiding wrong house


BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVC) -After a 10-month long investigation into the murder of a young pregnant woman, SWAT team members went to Lynncrest Drive to look for one of four suspects.

But one family that lives on the same street said the wrong house was raided while their children slept inside.

Spencer Renck was getting ready for work. He heard a loud boom and then heard footsteps. A SWAT team was raiding his house.

"They had their guns drawn at me and I had my gun trying to protect my family," he said.

"I didn't know what was going on. I was really close to being killed."

The Bradley County Swat team busted through his front door, throwing flash bangs. The father of four says they knocked pictures off the walls, damaged the ceiling, burned holes through clothes and a carpet.

DEA apologizes to Tennessee family for raiding wrong house

One flash bang went near his young son's bedroom.

"[My son] said he couldn't see or hear anything," Renck said. "There was a bunch of smoke. He couldn't breathe. He was freaking out. He's six years old."

Renck was home with his wife and four young children at the time.

"When they opened up the door, there were like four or five different guns just drawn at me," he said.

"So I just came around this corner."

Renck was tackled and handcuffed. Renck said once the SWAT team confirmed his identity, it realized there was a mix up.

"[The SWAT team member] said. 'Oh. We got the wrong house.," Renck said.

"They in-handcuffed me and they all just ran and went upstairs and went next door."

DEA apologizes to Tennessee family for raiding wrong house

According to a release from police in Johnson City, Tennessee, the Bradley County SWAT team was one house off. The Rencks live at 4040 Lyncress Drive.

Next door, at 4030, Johnson City police say authorities found Monte Lamar Brewer Jr, a suspect in the murder of a pregnant woman from 2017.

NewsChannel 9 has learned the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have apologized to the Renck family.

A spokesperson for the DEA sent the apology via email:

“On May 22, 2018, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Louisville Division Office and the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office served a federal search warrant at an address associated with an individual wanted for murder, who was also a target in an ongoing heroin investigation. This operation was part of a larger ongoing investigation. Unfortunately, this search warrant was initially served on the wrong residence. DEA leadership immediately responded to the scene and met with the family. Fortunately, there were no injuries and DEA will continue to work with the family to ensure their wellbeing. Situations such as these are tragic and DEA takes them very seriously. We intend to look into this matter further and take steps to ensure situations such as this never occur again.”

As to who will pay for the damage, Bradley County Sheriff's Office spokesman James Bradford tells Aaron Farrar that this case is in the preliminary stages, and wouldn't comment further.

NewsChannel 9 has also learned the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now investigating this mixup.

Spokesman Josh Devine says in an email, "At the request of 10th District Attorney General Stephen Crump, TBI Agents are investigating the actions of law enforcement officers from the Bradley County Sheriff's Office while executing a warrant earlier this week. Preliminary information indicates the deputies appear to have initially entered the wrong home."

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