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Kansas family's $25G probe pins fruitless SWAT team raid on science project or tea

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Bob Harte and his wife Addie spent $25,000 to find out why a heavily-armed SWAT team forced its way into their home last year.KSHB

A Kansas man paid an attorney $25,000 to find out what prompted a SWAT team to raid his family's home, and after a year and a half, the lawyer narrowed it down to either his wife's tea or their son's science project, according to a report.

Bob Harte, of Johnson County, said his family was mystified after a heavily-armed SWAT team forced its way into their home the morning of April 20, 2012. He answered the door and the Johnson County SWAT team reportedly fanned out into the home while their kids continued to sleep, according to local station KSHB.

"We just kept saying, 'You're in the wrong house,"' Addie Harte, his wife, told the station.

During the two-hour search, tight-lipped deputies would only say they were looking for narcotics, Bob Harte said. When it was over, and the county police team had turned up nothing incriminating, they simply left, Harte said. He and his wife were angry and confused.

When they tried to find out what triggered the raid, the Hartes learned that the application used to obtain a search warrant were protected under Kansas law, the report said. But the Hartes weren't satisfied, and hired a lawyer to investigate. What he learned answered some of their questions, but did nothing to resolve their anger. 

The attorney learned that a few months prior to the raid, a state trooper had seen Harte leaving an area store that sells equipment sometimes used for growing marijuana. Police later found what  field tests showed to be marijuana in the Hartes' garbage, according to the report. After learning that was what caused all the fuss, Bob Harte had a simple explanation. He was buying science project supplies for his son at the store, and the substance in the garbage, which tested negative at the state crime lab, was his wife's favorite tea, he told the station.

"It's also astonishing how little police work they had to do to raid our house," said Harte, who has filed a federal lawsuit over the raid. 

The Johnson County Sheriff's office told FoxNews.com that it could not comment on the KSHB report because it is a pending legal matter. 

Click for more from KSHB.com

Fox News' Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report

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