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Agency Probes Raid of Orange Family’s Home : Law enforcement: Federal agents deny wrongdoing, though suspects had moved out a month earlier.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Federal officials opened an investigation Thursday into allegations that agents searching for street gang members mistakenly raided the home of an electrical engineer and terrorized his family in Orange.

Jack Killorin, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, confirmed the investigation and described it as “routine.”

Henry Truong, 28, said he was handcuffed and his family mistreated when law enforcement officials stormed their home early Wednesday. Suspected street gang members who were the target of the raid had moved out of the apartment a month earlier.

On Thursday, the ATF continued to deny any wrongdoing and declined to comment on details of the raid. “We’re not going to debate this in the press,” said April Carroll, a spokeswoman for the ATF’s office in Los Angeles.

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Orange Police Chief Merrill Duncan also confirmed Thursday that officers from his department were present during the raid but referred all questions to ATF officials in Los Angeles.

Court records show that on Aug. 22, ATF agents secured a warrant from the U.S. District Court to search an apartment of a three-unit complex in the 1800 block of East Adams Avenue. Federal court documents stated that the agents were looking for firearms and paraphernalia belonging to “Orange Boyz,” a Vietnamese street gang based in the city.

The suspects had moved out of the apartment about three weeks before the warrant was issued.

Carroll declined to say why agents did not know that the suspects had vacated the building. She said she also could not explain why it took agents a week to execute the warrant

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“It could be a number of things,” Carroll said, “from the safety of the issuance of the warrant to the availability of manpower.”

Truong said he plans to file a lawsuit against the agents because he was humiliated in front of his two daughters.

Truong, who is employed as an electrical engineer with an Irvine company, said he was handcuffed during the raid and forced to sit on the concrete sidewalk outside the apartment.

His wife, Thanh, also was ordered outside but was not handcuffed, Truong said. He said their children, 3-year-old Louise and 8-month-old Caroline, were left inside and began screaming after the parents were taken away.

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