The FBI Search Warrant
Recently, Christopher A. Wray is testifying in front of the senate confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill. He might be our next FBI director. Well, my experience with the FBI was when Jamey Comey was director and it ruined my life.
It was a muggy July morning on 7/11/2013, so almost 4 years ago to the day. I receive a call from my mother to come to the office quickly. The FBI is here. I thought it was a joke or a bunch of criminals trying to steal something in the name of the FBI.
It was 6am, and two agents, Dana Johnson and Ashley Davis were banging at my mother’s condo. She has a long standing heart condition and things like this are pure poison for her health. The two identify themselves. I later find out that at this very point in time the FBI had simultaneously come to the door of at least three other employees at my office, as if this is some major Al Qada operation. The agents walk my poor mother to the office and start interrogating her. Her rights were never read to her and she did not know her rights. Her mother language is Persian, and her rights needed to be translated to confirm her understanding. While in the private room with this agent, she started experiencing a dry mouth attack and could not talk. The agent got nervous and offered to get her a cup of water. She refused.
At this point, the office was swarming with armed agents in bullet proof attire. At this point they made my mom call me to come to the office. When I arrived, it was quite a scene. At least 20 people were walking around and taking apart all computers and downloading the hard drives. The sound of power drills was deafening. It was a scene out of Dante.
They quickly took me inside a room and started interrogating me. My rights were never read out to me. However, I knew from watching enough Cagney and Lacey that I had the right to remain silent. I believe in my final trial in 2017, Ms. Ashley Davis said that she read me my rights. Not. I had nothing to hide. I asked them to show me their badges and prove they are the FBI. Second, I spoke to Ms. Ashley Davis and another agent in an exam room. I noticed they had covered all the CCTV cameras in my office, which we will get back to later…. In the room they started accusing me of falsely making diagnoses. They thought I was knowingly calling acne or other benign lesions as pre-cancer and then treating them with a cosmetic device meant for “superficial things”. The name of this device is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). They could hardly pronounce all the words. Ashley Davis became louder and ruder in her interrogation while the other agent was taking notes. She also had difficulty pronouncing the medical words and phrases. I denied her claims. I said I understood she had a job and needed to get to the bottom of this, but there was no need to be rude. At this point she turned all red and more fiery. She stopped herself and the other agent apologized and took over. Special Agent Ashley Davis asked me how many tools I used to destroy pre-cancers (actinic keratoses). I listed them, Freezing agents, electrocautery, acid (TCA 80%), levulon® with either BLU-U or IPL activation, and IPL and topical creams. She was kind enough to mention some of these in her final report of the search. She specifically mentioned that I admitted to using IPL, electrocautery, and Trichloroacetic acid (TCA). She also mentioned that I had a few Levulon® sticks. She missed some but I appreciate her relative honesty in writing this part of our conversation. However, on April 16, 2015, at my grand jury investigation, she stated I only had IPL to treat pre-cancers. This was a flagrant lie, which helped in my indictment. I hope the new FBI director prevents lying under oath by special FBI agents. Unacceptable.
As I watched and was not allowed to wander around and even encouraged to leave my office was when I realized a search warrant was not to allow the law inside, but also to push you out of your space!
My mom and I were curled up on the carpet in the hallway outside of my office. All I could think was what a big misunderstanding at the taxpayer’s expense and my poor patients, who many took off work to come; were scheduled for biopsies; skin cancer removals; etc, etc. A true travesty…This was a Thursday and I had a full schedule, maybe up to 70 patients who never got treated. My mom and I would apologize to them and state that the office was closed due to “unforeseen circumstances”. The FBI had posted a notice on my office door stating the “office was closed” and the other interrogator in the room with me was later made responsible to sit in front of the door and refuse the patients entry.
Ashley Davis and Dana Johnson called me in to the break room of the office. Turns out they did not have a search warrant to the space adjacent to my office. In that space many charts were housed that they needed to confiscate. They asked me entry or threatened to go back to the judge for another search warrant. Of course going back to the judge would cost them time. We discussed the matter and I went back and forth with them. I knew that I needed a lawyer at this time; I had no names to contact. I didn’t know if I should let them in or not. I had already spoken to them without an attorney, a big mistake. I didn’t want to make matters worst. This negotiating, and me thinking it out, took a good 15 to 20 minutes, with both Ashley David, Dana Johnson and other agents present. At my final trial in 2017, Dana Johnson was asked under oath if he remembered this episode, and he didnt. An intense 20 minute episode was wiped from his memory rather conveniently. I didn’t have to but I let them enter the space at the end, since I did not have anything to hide. They quarried my patient charts and took what they wanted in boxes. They took old computers with them and whatever else they wanted. My practice was a mess after they left. The computers didn’t work right, important documents were taken. I had never in my life felt so violated….raped.
As a child I was told of my uncles’ solitary confinement for 4 months at the hands of the secret police SAVAK, in Iran. His crime was a speech he made in the early 1960s bringing attention to French actions in the Algerian War of Independence. France was an ally and any negative image of an ally was not tolerated by the SAVAK. These were scary things for a child to know but it also helped me rationalize and understand what was going on this day.
After a while my mother and I left and the crew stayed late into the night. When they left, my mother and I came back to the office to see what remained. They had tried to put things back in place. One memory was going to the DVR of my security CCTV. They had deleted all files. Therefore they had not just searched but destroyed my property. I was so mad. I told our IT guy. He came and looked at it and said don’t worry, I have backup files and within 15 minutes all video files were alive. That’s when I realized that this group was not even properly trained to do their job, i.e., delete a simple video file. “How are they keeping our country safe?” They don’t know their job properly, but are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of actinic keratosis. Ha..
In the video, It showed that the agents entering my office and having the building manager walk them through my office. They had a box of Donuts on the same counter that patients check in. It took them 10 minutes or so to even realize I had CCTV. The black domes are all over the place…..did they all skip their class “scouting out a place 101”? As soon as they started looking upward and noticing the cameras, they used step ladders to cover up the cameras with paper. I would think if you are here to expose a crime, what is the need to cover cameras? Expose please and don’t hide anything.
At this point I did not know what had just happened, but I felt raped. This happened under Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey. I hope that the new FBI director can clean house.
P.S., on April 16, 2015 I was indicted and on May9, 2017 I was found guilty on 16 counts of fraud by a jury. The closing argument, a lie by the gov, this time Mr Assistant Attorney General Stephen C. Lee sealed the deal for them.