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FBI Uses Chainsaw In Raid On Wrong Fitchburg Apartment

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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FBI agents used a chainsaw to enter a Fitchburg apartment.

FBI agents used a chainsaw to enter a Fitchburg apartment.

WBZ-TV's Jim Armstrong Jim Armstrong
Jim Armstrong is an Emmy-award winning reporter who joined WBZ-TV in...
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FITCHBURG (CBS) – It’s going to be a while before things get back to normal for Judy Sanchez and her three-year-old daughter.

Last Thursday, a team of FBI agents swarmed her apartment building as part of a massive citywide drug and weapons gang raid.

Trouble is, Sanchez lives in apartment 2R.

The suspect they were after is in 2F.

At 6:04 last Thursday morning, just before Sanchez’ alarm was set to go off, she heard a pounding outside her second floor apartment.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports

“I just happened to glance over and saw this huge chainsaw ripping down the side of my door,” she explains. “And I was freaking out. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Within moments, the chainsaw had cut through most of her door, and someone on the FBI’s arrest team kicked the rest of it in.

“That’s when I heard the clicking of a gun and I heard ‘FBI, get down!’, so I laid right on down.

And they said get your dog, so I got her and at the same time I am laying in her urine because she did pee on herself at the same time.”

That dog is the family’s three-month-old pit bull puppy.

Sanchez says they left her on the floor for 35 minutes, with her daughter screaming for her mommy in the other room.

“I was told not to move, so I didn’t move,” she tells WBZ, out of fear that she’d be shot.

Eventually the feds figured out they were in the wrong spot and they arrested the suspect they were after in the next door apartment.

Sanchez can’t believe that a two-year long federal investigation ended at the wrong door.

“The looks on their faces when they knew they got the wrong door was priceless,” she recalls. “They looked at each other dumbfounded.”

Sanchez says another agent came by later that day to offer an apology, but it was one that Sanchez felt wasn’t quite genuine.

“For me it felt routine apology, it felt like just a regular, ‘I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Here’s the phone number for your landlord to get reimbursed for the door, have a good day.’

And that’s how I felt, like it was a smack in the face.”

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