Drug officers storm wrong N. Pole home

Agents intended to raid suspected crack house next door

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2002

FAIRBANKS - Kara Goodale was watching television Tuesday afternoon when she saw men dressed in white suits and gas masks pointing assault rifles through the window of her house near North Pole.

"They looked like storm troopers," said Goodale, 51. "All I saw was these assault rifles and I thought, 'Oh my God,' and headed to the other room and ducked behind the freezer. Next thing I know is a barrage of men, or storm troopers, ran into the house."

The next few minutes were chaotic. Agents ordered Goodale to lie down on the floor in front of her entertainment center. Someone pressed a foot to her head and she was handcuffed. All throughout the incident she yelled, "You're at the wrong house, you want the next-door neighbors!"

After officers went through the home to make sure no one was hiding, they too realized they had the wrong address.

They had a search warrant for 1430 Daniel St., not 1422 Daniel St., where Goodale and her boyfriend of three years, Andy Welch, live. They mistook her trailer house as one of three suspected crack houses in the Fairbanks and North Pole area.

About 20 drug agents simultaneously raided Goodale's house and two others at about 4 p.m. Tuesday.

"The 'I'm sorries' started flowing left and right," Goodale said. "At that point the majority of them ran back out and hit the house next door."

Drug enforcement officers had a search warrant for next door, but Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Jeff Manns, local head of the statewide drug enforcement unit, said they didn't clearly see the address posted in small letters at the end of the driveway before storming into Goodale's house with their guns out.

"This is the first time I've ever seen it happen. In the 13 years I've been a trooper, this is the first time that we went to the wrong residence on a search," Manns told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Wednesday.

"The homeowner was upset and rightly so," Manns said.

After they realized their mistake, officers helped Goodale up onto a chair, removed her handcuffs and called a paramedic to look at her. Goodale said she was crying hysterically.

"I was scared to death, but I didn't physically get hurt," she said. "It was very insane. It was real traumatizing ... The whole time I was just freaked."

After officers left her house and she calmed down, Goodale became angry. She called her mother in Washington and her boyfriend, who was at work. They have contacted lawyers but do not know if they're going to take any legal action.

Sgt. Manns said an undercover officer also saw the suspect targeted in the drug bust walk down Goodale's driveway after the suspect allegedly sold the officer cocaine.

"Oftentimes these guys don't want to bring the guys (buyers) to the house, to the source. They'll tell them to let them off at another location," Manns said. "Basically that's what happened in this particular scenario."

Goodale said it's hard to mistake the two trailers that sit a stone's throw away from each other, mainly because of large amount of traffic the trailer next door receives.

"I've never had any law enforcement training, but in my opinion, if it had been my operation, there's a huge field across the way, they should have taken the time staking out the place," Goodale said.

As a result of the raids, officers arrested Glenn D. Jackson Jr., 21, of Fairbanks on a charge of third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance at his apartment. Officers also were looking for three other people from the Daniel Street home and another residence.

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