Family believes tea leaves may have led to fruitless 4/20 pot raid of their Leawood home

LEAWOOD, Kan. - A Leawood family says they only know one thing in their trash that could have been mistaken for marijuana by Johnson County Sheriff's deputies.

Bob and Addie Harte sued to get police records that led to a traumatic -- and fruitless -- raid of their home in April 2012.

RELATED | False drug test prompts raid of Leawood home

Those records, which were released Thursday, state a Missouri Highway Patrol sergeant spotted Bob Harte shopping at a local hydroponics store in August 2011. Seven months later, he called in the tip to the Johnson County Sheriff's office, which prompted deputies to start going through the Hartes' trash.

When wet vegetation and stems were found, the documents state they field-tested positive for marijuana. The search warrant was served days later. After the search came up empty, the samples from the Hartes' trash were retested. This time, lab tests showed the field test kits used yielded false positive results. 

The family believes Addie Harte's loose tea is the only thing deputies could have found. They were even more convinced after lab results showed the samples from the trash showed a "peak for caffeine".

"It just keeps getting more absurd," Addie Harte said.

Now more than ever, the Hartes feel the need to make their battle public after hearing from other families who say this happened to them, too. 

"We kind of feel like we're uniquely in a position to do something," Addie Harte explained. "We have the resources. We have nothing to hide ... somebody has to stand up and say 'This has to stop!' We're trying to make a difference and trying to teach our kids that you have to do the right thing."

So far, the Hartes have only sued the Johnson County Sheriff's office for the records surrounding their search warrant. They are now weighing their future legal options.

An attorney for the Sheriff's office declined to comment during the pending litigation.

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