News 12 at This Morning / Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Agents set up and rolled out as early as 3 a.m. Tuesday morning for Operation Smoke Screen.
Their goal -- to get criminals off the streets of Augusta. It is an operation that started while most of Augusta was still asleep. Now more than more 75 men and women are behind bars.
While the fog was still heavy, van after van pulled in, filled with young men and women who were booked on burglary and weapon charges. Operation Smoke Screen may have taken months to plan, but this morning that plan was executed in just a few hours.
In the middle of it all, one mother, in the wrong house at the wrong time.
"I heard my husband shout, 'Wake up the narcs are outside,'" said Alicia Phiniezy.
Phiniezy's house, off of Mike Padgett Highway on Gay Road was one of the targets this morning. She heard the knock a little before 5 a.m.
"Someone is beating on the door let us in, it's the police," Phiniezy explained. "I opened the door a little and I mean there were guns everywhere."
Agents had her address on file for one of the suspects.
"We were told the person was seeing coming to this residence in October," she remembered the agents saying. "That just can't be, I lived here alone."
Phiniezy says she moved into her house with her three kids last September, but this morning there wasn't much room for explanation. Agents identified her husband and searched her home.
"They had these great big guns, everybody had a gun," she recalled. "It was about eight of them, they all came in searching throughout the house. My carpet is dirty, my kids are crying, and I was like at least let me go and hold them."
Phiniezy says she is at work for the most part of the day, now she's left wondering why a suspect's known address is the same as hers.