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Leon Valley couple files suit after drug raid on wrong home

December 25, 2018

A Leon Valley couple filed a federal lawsuit Monday alleging their civil rights were violated after three Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and eight Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies mistakenly raided and heavily damaged their home in November after receiving a tip that it was a drug “stash house.”

Filed on behalf of plaintiffs Lucil and Raymond Basco, the lawsuit alleges illegal searches during a traffic stop and subsequent search of their home without probable cause. The couple is seeking a jury trial. Attorney Solomon M. Radner declined to discuss a monetary amount sought.

Asked about the allegations, the Sheriff’s Office responded with a statement via email: “We have not been served with any legal process. We will defer to the District Attorney’s Office regarding any ongoing legal matters.”

Leon Valley police weren’t involved in the raid.

According to the lawsuit, Lucil Basco, a registered nurse, was driving to pick up her 5-year-old son from school around 3 p.m. Nov. 14 on Bandera Road when three DPS troopers and other members of law enforcement pulled her over “because she did not use her blinker, her license plate was obstructed, and she did not pull over immediately,” the suit states.

She said one of the troopers asked her to step out of the car, and she complied.

They wrote her a warning, she picked up her son and went home.

About 4:15 p.m., she said she and her son were watching TV when she heard a loud bang that broke the front door and forced it open, the suit states. Acting on a tip from a confidential DEA informant, several defendant officers wearing masks with lights on their heads ran into the home in the 5300 block of Brisa Estates, yelling, and with guns drawn, according to the lawsuit.

“I have had nightmares ever since the police broke down my door with their guns pointed at my head, pointed at us, handcuffed me and traumatized my son and myself,” Lucil Basco said Monday while holding back tears. “This is unfair to my son and this is unfair also to me. I was shocked, how could this happen to my family?”

She also said she was handcuffed in front of her son, who cried out for his mother.

According to the document, the “defendant officers” searched the home for drugs, opened every door and broke a bedroom door and a closet door.

When the search concluded, officers took the handcuffs off Lucil Basco, handed her the warrant and left her home.

The next day, she spoke to one of the officers, who apologized to her, said the raid was a mistake, and gave her information on payment for the damage, the suit states.

But Rander said the Bascos have yet to hear from anyone about the property damage.

“What happened to this family is an absolute travesty. It never should have happened, it never should happen again,” he said. “The police have proven time and time again that they are absolutely 100 percent incapable of policing themselves.”

Leon Valley Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio issued a statement to emphasize that his department was not involved.

“The lawsuit is against other law enforcement agencies who prepared and conducted the search warrant on a house in Leon Valley,” the chief said. “The Leon Valley Police Department was not present during the execution of the search warrant, and has no knowledge concerning it or the lawsuit that was filed.”

Calls and emails sent to DPS and the DEA’s Houston office, which handles San Antonio, were not returned.

ezavala@express-news.net | Twitter: @elizabeth2863

Elizabeth Zavala is a courts and crime reporter in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | ezavala@express-news.net | Twitter: @elizabeth2863

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