Was police raid on home of filmmaker behind 2012 terrorist hoax a mistake?

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The man behind a terrorist hoax two years ago is wondering why police raided his home.

Michael Turley was at work when police converged on his house near 35th Avenue and Bell Road Monday evening. He said they were looking for a pair of fugitives wanted for probation violations.

A neighbor texted the independent filmmaker to let him know what was happening.

Andrew Olson sent 3TV several photos of marked police vehicles, including a supervisor's vehicle, outside Turley's house.

Turley, who is on probation for staging a terrorist hoax in 2012, said police broke his door, windows and did a number on his house.

"[M]y home was broken into by numerous law enforcement and/or municipal entities today while I was at work," Turley wrote on his Facebook page in a post requesting references for a civil lawyer. "They forced entry into my home, ransacked my stuff and removed a sum of cash. They did this claiming they were 'looking for 2 fugitives'. ... No warrant!"

Police initially told 3TV that they were not at Turley's home, but later confirmed that officers had been there with a probation officer.

Turley, who took 3TV's camera through his house after the raid, made headlines after dressing his 16-year-old nephew in a sheet and head covering, arming him with a fake rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and sending him to a busy Phoenix intersection on July 28, 2012 -- all for the sake of a video that he posted on YouTube.

Nearly a year later, a jury deliberated just two hours before finding him guilty of endangering the teen's life and carrying out a terrorism hoax.

"If I'm guilty of one thing, it's being an excellent storyteller," Turley said after spending two weeks in Tent City Jail. He said the video, which he produced and posted just days after the mass shooting during a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.,  was meant to test the response time of Phoenix police.

"I made fun of the Phoenix Police Department and in Phoenix, Arizona, apparently that's something you don't do," Turley said last August.

Turley told 3TV Monday night that his probation officer came to his home and apologized for the incident.

The Phoenix Police Department has not said anything more about the raid on Turley's home -- only that they were assisting probation officers, which, according to Sgt. Steve Martos, is not unusual.

While it's not clear why officers raided Turley's home, Martos said probation officers usually have the authority to enter a probationer's home without a warrant. That generally is laid out in the terms of the probation.

Turley said he plans to meet with an investigator Tuesday evening.



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