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May 06, 2012


Jose Guereno Ortiz was ex-Marine Corp, having served military duty in Iraq. He was back in the states in the mid-west working in a copper mine. He has a wife and child. (click photo for source).

Photos; Source:
Jose Guereno Ortiz is dead. He was killed during a SWAT raid on his house while his wife and child cowered horrified in a corner. There was scant warning of the assault. Jose only awoke from a nap with his wife warning him people were outside, and it looked like they were a gang about to break in. Jose stood and grabbed his AK-47 (what ex-marine would be without one?).
He had but seconds as the door to his house blew apart and he was gunned down on video by several law enforcement agents believing they were under attack. Jose took 22 rounds to his body, over 70 shots fired. His weapon was on safe. No officers were shot at.
The reason for the attack was "suspected narcotics". It was thought he was in possession of marijuana. How much, what he supposedly did with it, any proof, there's no record that any facts ever existed to prove the raid justifiable on the Ortiz residence.
Police based the operation on a traffic stop several months prior when a relative was pulled over, and according to the subsequent subpoena, "the vehicle smelled of marijuana..." though no marijuana was found. Jose was a passenger in the vehicle. The subpoena that ultimately led to Jose's death is rife with innuendo about seemingly everyone but Jose. All of it seems to suggest an obsession by local law enforcement with marijuana, a suggested link to cross-border trafficking, but little hard fact. A "fishing expedition", in my opinion!
Click on this snippet of the subpoena, for the "probable cause" that led to Jose' death.:

The Ortiz the subpoena refers to the most, isn't Jose, it was his brother!
Jose at best from what I can tell from the subpoena simply enjoyed using marijuana, and enjoyed hanging out with his extended family. And for that he's dead, his own family minus a father and husband. And we in this country think that's okay. 
Even in cases of child abuse, rape or murder we don't go busting down doors like this and shoot a man protecting his home (we assume and one is innocent until proven guilty). 
This is clearly a case of abuse of power, of madness. Reefer madness, and it really needs to stop. 
The local district attorney says police were justified in the killing. Jose was armed. That law enforcement gave notice of the intended search... 
You tell me... was this death justified? Was the marijuana involved something so dangerous someone had to die? Is this event one that shows rational thought behind a life-changing action? Does it justify prohibition of a natural plant? A plant used casually and medicinally for millions of years? 


  1. I know the basics of this sad case, but have not done much reading other than that.

    In general, government agencies offer grants and law enforcement certainly considers this when allocates resources. The "War on Drugs" continues to be a well-funded endeavor.

    I appreciate you posting some from the legal documents--it always best to go to the original document.

    I did read an insightful and critical post on this case from an officer a while back. He spoke in specifics--as to what he did not like about the police approach that led to this death. It was not something that I typically see--which is why I remember it.

    I'll try to find the article and send you the link.

  2. Thanks for the comment...

    I'll look forwards to that link you mentioned if you can find it. If you click on the snippet of the subpoena I included it'll take you to the entire document... critical to understanding this case reading that subpoena.

    How ironic the "War on Drugs" is so well funded - especially against cannabis which is far less harmful and a danger to society than say alcohol or tobacco. There are so many other, more beneficial uses for that money, in my opinion, rather than using it to fuel a war on the American people.

    Reminds me of the War on Dirty Books that ended in the early 1960's, only it wasn't so well funded; still, the government enjoyed busting people for having books containing sexually oriented material.

    Although travesties like the what happened to Jose Ortiz aren't common, they do occur more often than they should. Police are conditioned to believe evidence will be flushed down a toilet, and so are less restrained when pursuing alleged "criminals" in drug cases.

    Just the other day I read about a law officer in Philly who abducted a 14 year old girl, sexually assaulted her and forced her to watch as he had sex with a prostitute. Law enforcement used "restraint" when arriving at his house knowing he was most likely armed... yet, inside his house was the girl he abducted and a prostitute... a serious situation as well as a crime, yet they didn't bust down his door with guns blazing.

    We've been doped as Americans to accept when drugs are involved our Constitutional rights go out the window. I'd expect this in a country like Russia, but not the US. The use, possession and sale of cannabis does not seem to warrant the actions that killed Jose, that left his and other families victims. It's simply not right.

    If grants fund these actions I'd think twice about the use of tax-payer dollars to fund it. We really do have more pressing issues to deal with than cannabis "crimes".