The following is excerpted from an email sent by Roger Stone’s wife Nydia on behalf of the Roger Stone Legal Defense Fund. Though I am not personally involved with raising money for that fund, I decided to share a portion of her letter not directly related to their financial situation because it gives such a powerful perspective on what it’s like for an innocent person to be caught up in a “home invasion”-style raid...
By now, I'm sure you have heard about the terrifying pre-dawn raid on the house in Ft. Lauderdale where I live with my husband, Roger Stone.
A little before 6 a.m., 29 assault-weapon-wielding FBI agents in full tactical gear and wearing night vision goggles surrounded our home. Because I am hearing-impaired and I was sleeping, I did not hear the commotion when an FBI agent pounded on the door demanding my husband open it, and I did not know he had been handcuffed and taken into custody.
I woke up only when two FBI agents burst into our bedroom and demanded that I get out of bed at gunpoint. I was marched out to the street in front of our house wearing only a night gown and in bare feet. I was instructed to stand next to my husband, who was handcuffed and also barefooted. I am not charged with any crime.
This has to be the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced as FBI agents swarmed into our home after announcing they had a search warrant.
My husband has no previous criminal record, not even a speeding ticket. He is charged and pled not guilty to seven non-violent process crimes. We do not own a gun, and my husband's passport had actually expired. The idea that he is a danger to anyone or a flight risk was disproved hours later when a federal magistrate released him on a surety bond.
The FBI used 29 agents [and] 17 vehicles, including 2 armored vehicles, a helicopter, and 2 amphibious units because our rented home backs onto a canal. Every agent was carrying an AK-47 as well as a sidearm. This is a much larger force than [was] used to capture and kill bin Laden or arrest El Chapo. It must have cost U.S. taxpayers a half a million dollars.
Even more humiliating, for some odd reason a CNN camera crew had arrived at our home only 50 minutes before the FBI strike force and was allowed to film the assault on our home and my husband's arrest. If my husband was considered "dangerous," why was a CNN film crew in position 10 yards from our front door? How convenient that the CNN producer at our home is a former special assistant to FBI director James Comey!
My parents came from Cuba. I can understand how these kinds of police state tactics can happen in a communist country, but it is hard to believe that the FBI Director and acting Attorney General would allow this kind of brutal assault on a U.S. citizen with no prior criminal record and charged only with non-violent process crimes here in the United States.
After the FBI took my husband away, I was allowed to dress under the supervision of a woman FBI agent, who even had to watch me while I used the bathroom. I was not allowed to touch my cell phone even though I could see that my children and grandchildren were calling to see if I was all right. FBI agents tore through every square inch of our home and removed my husband’s computers and iPads. They also took my computer, which means they got many beautiful pictures of my grandchildren.
I wasn't allowed to turn on the television, so I did not see the angry and hateful mob that gathered outside the federal courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale, where I later learned that my husband was placed in hand and foot shackles and held in a holding cell after being fingerprinted and having his mug shot photos taken. The FBI spent seven hours tearing through our house, as well as raiding a storage facility nearby, where they also took a computer and went through financial records that are at least 15 years old.
Although you would never know it from the fake news media, my husband...is not charged with Russian collusion, Wikileaks collaboration or any other crime associated with the 2016 election...Now we are facing a $2 million cost for lawyers In order to fight the bogus charges against my husband, who at 66 years old is facing a potential 45-year prison sentence for crimes he did not commit.
Every day brings death threats [and] late-night anonymous phone calls threatening to kill us, and it's gotten so I can't even go to the grocery store without somebody screaming at me and accusing us of being Russian spys –- which is funny because my parents fled Cuba and the brutal regime of Fidel Castro while my husband's family members were mowed down by Russian tanks in Budapest in 1956.
There’s little to add to Mrs. Stone’s letter; it speaks for itself. I do particularly like her point that if her husband is so dangerous that he requires a SWAT team to take him into custody, it’s odd that CNN was allowed to be up so close with their cameras. I also appreciate her very appropriate reference to Cuba.
This kind of thing is not supposed to happen in America, but it obviously does, at least to people on the wrong political side of those running the show. In this case the result could have been tragic. If it’s true that Mrs. Stone could not hear instructions spoken by the armed agents, she might have acted in self-defense and ended up dead. Whoever signed off on this raid should be held accountable for prosecutorial misconduct.
On Friday night, Tucker Carlson showed home security video from Roger Stone’s house covering multiple angles of the pre-dawn raid. It shows CNN arriving around 5AM, about an hour before the FBI agents show up. The CNN cameraman immediately sets up his tripod, obviously expecting something, and gets back in his vehicle to wait for FBI agents to arrive.
When agents pull up, the CNN cameraman jumps out of his car, camera on his shoulder. He’s not far from the action, only about 40 feet away. The agents surrounding the home can be seen as heavily armed, carrying assault weapons and sidearms and wearing anti-ballistic armor. They’re using red-dot sights and tactical flashlights. They look ready to fire. One has a battering ram.
A camera at the back of the house captures one of the boats referred to by Mrs. Stone. It carries at least two agents, who shine a floodlight into the home.
It’s like something out of a movie. From the look of this, you’d think Stone was a drug lord, or maybe a serial killer.
We’re being told that all this was “by the book.” I don’t accept that. If such action against a non-violent 66-year-old man with absolutely no record of prior offenses can be considered business as usual by the FBI, then we are no longer in the America we used to know.