WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) — Rachele Wilburn served our country, spending years in the United States Air Force. 

Wilburn was honorably discharged, and was honored for her service by receiving the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Training Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the Air Force Good Conduct Award. She has no criminal record and is gainfully employed. 

So why does she claim she found herself in the middle of what critics call a controversial policing program? 

Deputies with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office paid a visit to Rachele and her husband Elijah’s former home in Wesley Chapel on Sept. 2, 2017. The sheriff’s office claims they were there for an alleged ordinance investigation into some race cars that did not have tags. 

Wilburn says she told deputies the code inspector had already stopped by days earlier and said the vehicles were in compliance, since they were recreational race cars. She also alleges it was at least the fourth time the sheriff’s office had visited for alleged ordinance violations. 

The Wilburns asked those deputies to leave, saying they were trespassing, but they continued their ordinance check. 

Frustrated, Wilburn called 911 to request a supervisor be sent to her home. Instead, Wilburn was arrested. 

The charge? Misuse of 911.

“I’ve never done anything wrong in my life,” Wilburn told 8 On Your Side. “I’ve done military service.”

In 2011, Pasco’s new sheriff-in-town, Chris Nocco, spearheaded the department’s intelligence-led policing initiative. According to the department’s manual, intelligence-led policing uses “data analytics” to help deputies evolve into “future-orientated” first preventers and help them stop “prolific offenders.”

Critics claim the agency targets “individuals and their families deemed likely to commit unspecified future crimes,” but the sheriff’s office disputes this claim. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told 8 On Your Side intelligence-led policing is more of a “philosophy” than a program. 

Nocco denied repeated interview requests with 8 On Your Side for this story. 

Several plaintiffs who claimed they were targeted by “the program” filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in May, claiming the department violated their first, fourth, and 14th amendment rights. Those plaintiffs, admittedly, all had some degree of prior encounters with law enforcement. 

But 8 On Your Side could find no criminal record for Wilburn, who claims she was also targeted by the program and questioned why. 

“How many other people out there have they done this to?” Wilburn asked 8 On Your Side. 

Wilburn also filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s office in September, claiming her fourth and 14th amendment rights were violated when she was arrested. 

Wilburn’s lawsuit claims Pasco County’s intelligence-led policing “calls for deputies to make unannounced visits to the homes of targeted persons during which deputies demand entrance to the home or information about a targeted person’s comings and goings.”

“The deputies typically ignore requests to leave when residents ask them to do so and also ignore requests that these visits stop,” the lawsuit says.

For the Wilburns, although it’s unclear why they may have been allegedly targeted by intelligence-led policing, they believe they were. The sheriff’s office disagrees. 

Court filings show the sheriff’s office denies the allegations. In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against Sheriff Nocco by the Wilburn’s, an attorney representing the sheriff’s office writes, “as Plaintiff alleges that she has no criminal history, she could not have been a ‘targeted person’ under ILP.”

Wilburn’s lawsuit against the sheriff’s office claims that in “the years 2017 and 2018, in accordance with this policy, Plaintiff and her husband had experienced multiple ordinance checks, observed sheriff patrol cars parked across from her home watching her property on multiple occasions, and had observed deputies of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office drive past her home with the windows rolled down at a low rate of speed and in an intimidating manner.”

On top of the arrest for misuse of 911, Wilburn also faced charges for resisting arrest and not having a posted address on her household’s mailbox. 

“To be put in a cell for three hours, I was there,” Wilburn recalled in an interview with 8 On Your Side, adding, “I felt so disgusted and so disrespected.”

Prosecutors would later drop all three charges. 

“I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through,” Wilburn said. “It was terrifying.”