In 2012, Johnson County sheriff’s deputies led a raid against a Kansas City couple as they unsuccessfully searched for marijuana.

Robert and Adlynn Harte are retired CIA employees with two children.  Mr. Harte and his kids went to a hydroponic gardening store where they bought supplies for a basement tomato-growing science project.  Eight months later, the unthinkable happened.

Deputies showed up at their house, through the family’s trash, and found wet vegetation. Seven SWAT officers banged forcefully on the Hartes’ door and then burst into their home, with their guns drawn.

As the Charlotte Observer noted, “No marijuana was found and the vegetation in the trash turned out to be loose-leaf tea.”


Gabriel Malor tweeted about the case, providing even more – infuriating – detail. 

“Hey, you guys remember the story of the 2012 SWAT raid on a Kansas family after officers mistook their son’s science-experiment hydroponic tomato garden and the mom’s loose-leaf tea for marijuana? 10th Cir. just revived their civil rights suit for a second time.

“This was the one where the officers barged through the front door at 7:30am, threw the dad to the ground and held him at gunpoint while they rummaged through the house for hours finding no weed and no grow operation.

“Oh, and then for good measure on their way out the officers, with zero evidence, told them that their son had a drug problem and they should probably get him treatment.”

The Adlynn’s sued and were awarded $150,000.  That is not enough, of course, for being the victims of an overreaching government, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Image credit:

Hat Tip: Charlotte Observer

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.