FBI agents in tactical gear on Wednesday raided the Los Angeles-area mansion home of YouTube star and social media influencer Jake Paul. The act was related to an investigation stemming from a looting spree at an upscale shopping mall in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“The FBI has executed a federal search warrant in connection with an ongoing investigation,” a spokesman confirmed to the media. The affidavit in support of the search warrant has been sealed by a judge, so the official is prohibited from commenting on the nature of the investigation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation also searched two locations in Las Vegas, but no one was taken into custody during the raids and no arrest warrant has been issued for Paul.
Paul launched to fame in 2013 thanks to the now-defunct platform Vine. He starred on the Disney Channel show Bizaardvark, but parted ways after his Beverly Hills neighbors accused him of turning the area into a “war zone.”
Paul is a controversial figure in the digital influencing world and is known for his pranks and stunts. His YouTube channel has over 20 million subscribers.
In June, he was charged with criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly after he was identified among a crowd of looters at a mall in Scottsdale, Ariz. Paul faced backlash as videos posted to social media showed him walking through the mall as looters smashed the glass of a Sephora and Swarovski crystal store. In one video, Paul appeared to be handling a stolen bottle of vodka from P.F. Chang’s.
Paul maintained his innocence and said he and his videographer, Andrew Blue, were at the mall to capture Black Lives Matter protests.
Paul, 23, was not present when his home was searched, according to Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokesperson in Los Angeles.
Jake Paul’s lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, in a statement acknowledged that his client’s home was searched and promised cooperation with the investigation.
Local news video footage from the raid showed officers removing several rifles from Paul’s mansion in Calabasas, about 48 km northwest of Los Angeles.
Scottsdale police said separately that misdemeanor charges filed in June accusing Jake Paul of criminal trespass and unlawful assembly in connection with the Fashion Square “riots” were dismissed on Wednesday in conjunction with the federal probe.
Misdemeanor charges from that incident were likewise dropped against two men police described as Paul’s associates, one of them a Las Vegas nightclub promoter.