Local News

Search Warrant Gives New Insight into Fatal Drug Raid

Posted January 8, 2008

— Authorities seized 43 marijuana plants, among other items, from the Raleigh house where a man was shot to death as Wake County deputies served a search warrant on him.

The search warrant returned Tuesday by the Wake County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board gives new insight into why investigators suspect Stephen Scott Thornton, 45, was manufacturing and selling marijuana out of his Alpine Drive home.

Acting on a tip, investigators put the house under surveillance on Jan. 3 and found remnants of marijuana and marijuana plant stems in trash containers on the street curb by the driveway.

Investigators also seized more than 79 other items, including bags of marijuana, chemical lights and other equipment used to grow and sell marijuana, "marijuana-growing" magazines, VHS tapes entitled "Frontline: War on Marijuana" and "Pot of Gold," nearly $2,000 in currency and two bottles of controlled prescription medication under the name Scott Monaco.

Thornton was shot inside his home Friday while more than a dozen law enforcement officers served the warrant. He died at WakeMed a few hours later.

Sgt. Ronnie Byrd, 37, a member of the Wake County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team, was shot in the leg.

"We did make a forced entry into the house. Shots were fired," Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Friday.

Harrison declined to say how the shooting unfolded – who fired first and whether Thornton had been shot by a deputy.

The State Bureau of Investigation is handling the shooting case. Search warrants related to it have not been released.

Thornton, who also went by the name Scott Monaco, was wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service in Texas on drug and firearms charges, and a full extradition order was in place to return him to the Dallas area upon arrest.

On a Web site called "Texans for Medical Marijuana," a person claiming to be Thornton wrote he was a cancer patient and used marijuana for medical purposes to deal with pain.

He also wrote he provided marijuana to cancer patients for the same purpose with cancer for the same purpose.

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  • Thinkb4uspeak Jan 9, 5:05 p.m.

    http://texansformedicalmarijuana.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=89&Itemid=43

    READ Scott's Own Words Before He Was Killed ! He speaks from the grave! He was a victim also. The biggest crime is that deadly force is used in the situations.

    My name is Stephen Scott Thornton. I am 42 years old and am a MPS/chronic pain patient (Myofacial Pain Syndrome) and a thyroid cancer survivor. I have a M.S. in organic chemistry from Georgia Tech and have grown marijuana hydroponically for about ten years. My surgery to remove my thyroid gland was exactly ten years ago. I have smoked and grown marijuana since then and it helped me go from a 145-pound weakling to a 180-pound healthy man. I also lifted weights and used anabolic steroids including testosterone by prescription. I recently got busted by the feds and am getting ready to start a prison sentence for an unknown length of time. Most of my property was seized, two automobiles, 5 guitars...etc keep reading it is all there

  • Thinkb4uspeak Jan 9, 4:44 p.m.

    http://texansformedicalmarijuana.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=89&Itemid=43

    When you go to this website you can hear Scott tell his side of the story before he was killed. You will agree with me that this man was just as much of a victim as he was a perp.

    My name is Stephen Scott Thornton. I am 42 years old and am a MPS/chronic pain patient (Myofacial Pain Syndrome) and a thyroid cancer survivor. I have a M.S. in organic chemistry from Georgia Tech and have grown marijuana hydroponically for about ten years. My surgery to remove my thyroid gland was exactly ten years ago. I have smoked and grown marijuana since then and it helped me go from a 145-pound weakling to a 180-pound healthy man. I also lifted weights and used anabolic steroids including testosterone by prescription. I recently got busted by the feds and am getting ready to start a prison sentence for an unknown length of time. Most of my property was siezed, two autobiles 5 guitars....etc. READ IT !!!

  • tab580642 Jan 9, 2:13 p.m.

    12 officers busting into a person's house never giving him the opportunity to come out peacefully is a recipe for disaster in this day & time anyway. I mean criminals are kicking in people's doors screaming "Sheriff's Department" only to rob the homeowners. I'd be scared as hell too if my door is busted down in the middle of the night and would probably do whatever I can to protect myself & my family. All the pre-raid surveillance had been done I'm sure so they knew he was home. Why not simply surround the house and give the man the opportunity to give up peacefully. To risk the officer's lives, as well as the accused life when other means could've been taken to me is just silly. As someone said before, I wouldn't be surprised if the officer wasn't shot by another officer during a chaotic situation created by the powers that be. So what if he's growing weed?? I could care less. Aren't there more serious crimes to be addressed??

  • Thinkb4uspeak Jan 9, 12:50 p.m.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if in the end they determined that Scott didn’t fire at police at all, and that the officer that was injured was shot unintentionally by another officer. That would explain the lack of details and attention given by this snippet, which was the only bit of information referencing the wounded officer in the entire article.

    “Sgt. Ronnie Byrd, 37, a member of the Wake County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team, was shot in the leg.”

    By whom? Did Scott shoot him or not ?! They know the answer to that question and they did not definitively state it. It seems easy enough to include that I suspect that it may have been purposefully excluded and/or conveniently left out. They let the senseless masses draw their own ridiculous conclusions by providing incomplete statements and partial truths. They basically treat the public like mushrooms, they feed us c**p and keep us in the dark!

  • Thinkb4uspeak Jan 9, 12:48 p.m.

    Notice the story reads :

    “We did make a forced entry into the house. Shots were fired," Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Friday.
    Harrison declined to say how the shooting unfolded – who fired first and whether Thornton had been shot by a deputy.

    Very vague. Doesn’t even confirm that Scott (the dead man) shot anything or anybody or that he was shot by a deputy. The sheriff refuses to say how the shooting unfolded ! Interesting that the details of this shooting aren’t as transparent as you would expect them to be; as they have been in past similar situations when the officers clearly acted with no fault.

  • Thinkb4uspeak Jan 9, 12:13 p.m.

    Read and monitor the development of the story carefully. You will notice that there has been no confirmation of who shot whom. The only reports are that fire was exchanged. The lack of details lead a skeptic like myself to suspect some confusion and/or maybe even friendly fire. No they haven’t made statements to support this theory but they certainly haven’t said that this man actually “shot” or “shot at” anybody. These are the inferences my by the public, the presumption so to speak. If these details were clear and read favorably for the police department, you’d better believe they would have no shame in publicizing it promptly. The police are normally eager to provide more definitive information surrounding the details of a shooting when it is clear that they have no fault, culpability or embarrassment to share.

  • Thinkb4uspeak Jan 9, 12:11 p.m.

    http://texansformedicalmarijuana.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=89&Itemid=43

    CUT AND PASTE THIS LINK INTO YOUR ADDRESS BOX AND LISTEN TO THE DEAM MAN SPEAK FROM THE GRAVE!

    Read this dead man’s plight before you form an opinion. He was not a violent offender! He did not pose a threat to anyone! He was an individual with a clinically diagnosed, excruciatingly painful illness who advocated and facilitated the use of marijuana for medical reasons. He was not the rogue, criminally minded beast that RPD and the media propagandize him to be. He is to medical marijuana what Kevorkian was to assisted suicide. He was a non-violent, social and political activist who is now dead.

  • atozca Jan 8, 9:50 p.m.

    " ...other equipment used to grow and sell marijuana" what equipment is used to sell marijuana?

    Due to the amount of weed that was in the house I would say that this guy was probably selling marijuana however that claim can not be made based on the equipment.

  • jackadoo Jan 8, 9:06 p.m.

    crewmax...you got it. They were creative enuf to go thru his garbage, but went back to the mega police plan for this horrible criminal. Give me a break.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Jan 8, 8:46 p.m.

    I guess the guy's life went to pot...

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