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“It’s an injustice that our life is on the line for a white-collar crime”: GPD reviewing real estate office SWAT raid

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:56 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - One Gainesville business owner is speaking out after he feels the Gainesville Police Department deployed a SWAT team unnecessarily on him and his co-workers.

Jason Hurst is the owner of Maple Street Business Company and he also is a real estate agent at Colliers International office, located at 107 SW 7th St. On Jun. 2 the office was raided by a GPD swat team.

“It’s not by any means a racial matter it’s a human matter. It’s an injustice to the human rights of a person, especially somebody that’s innocent. I have not mentally recovered from that instance. There is not one day that I come down those stairs that I do not see that guy in my head. I do not feel that I’m safe and I do not feel that my family is safe,” said Hurst.

Hurst says that he was escorted out of the building by SWAT team members carrying assault rifles and that his hands were zip-tied as they searched the building.

In the warrant, Hurst was not one of the five individuals named. Lauren Edwards, Dan Drotos, Mike Ryals and Rory Cuasseaux all have ties to local real-estate company Bosshardt Realty. Both Drotos and Ryals have been involved in a legal dispute with the company as well.

The search warrant says that GPD was looking for evidence of trade secrets that the former employees had potentially been sharing. SWAT confiscated cell phones, tablets, laptops and other potential recording devices that could have held the trade secrets. Hurst feels that no such thing is the case and he is upset with being involved in the entire ordeal.

“I will say that the people that are involved in the situation have displayed nothing but integrity for decades, served that company well, served our company well and it’s really a shame that they are even brought up in this it’s an injustice that our life is on the line for a white-collar crime,” said Hurst.

GPD is investigating the incident and they have said that the SWAT team is not deployed without information that indicates it should be involved.

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