The FBI “executed a federal search warrant” at YouTube star Jake Paul’s Calabasas, California, home Wednesday morning, authorities have confirmed to Vulture. Rukelt Dalberis, public-information officer for the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said the warrant is related to “an ongoing investigation.” The search affidavit is sealed, so officials can’t provide more information on the nature of this investigation, Dalberis added. TMZ appears to have first reported on the warrant. Reps for Paul could not immediately be reached for comment.
The federal search warrant is the latest in a series of recent controversies for Paul.
Several weeks ago, he drew intense criticism for hosting a massive party–cum–music-video shoot despite California’s stay-at-home rules meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. Alicia Weintraub, the mayor of Calabasas, said she was “outraged” by the gathering. “They’re having this large party, no social distancing, no masks, it’s just a big, huge disregard for everything that everybody is trying to do to get things back to functioning,” she said to Fox 11. “It’s really just a party acting like COVID does not exist; it’s acting like businesses aren’t closed.”
Elsewhere, authorities in Scottsdale, Arizona, charged Paul with two misdemeanors — criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly — related to his alleged involvement in looting at an area mall on May 30. Scottsdale police alleged that they had identified Paul through tips and videos sent to authorities. Officials maintain that Paul unlawfully entered and stayed inside the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall “after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were ordered to leave the area by police,” per local news reports.
Paul denied allegations of wrongdoing. “We filmed everything we saw in an effort to share our experience and bring more attention to the anger felt in every neighborhood we traveled through; we were strictly documenting, not engaging,” he said on Twitter. “I do not condone violence, looting, or breaking the law; however, I understand the anger and frustration that led to the destruction we witnessed, and while it’s not the answer, it’s important that people see it and collectively figure out how to move forward in a healthy way.”
Update 8:42pm: The Los Angeles ABC affiliate, ABC7, reported that federal agents seized “multiple firearms” at Paul’s residence, and that the search was tied to the Arizona incident. The Scottsdale police department said Wednesday that their local case against Paul, and two others, was dismissed. “The Scottsdale Police Department and Scottsdale City Attorney’s Office are coordinating with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and the FBI to ensure that justice is served regarding criminal acts at Scottsdale Fashion Square on May 30,2020,” Scottsdale police said in a statement, explaining, “it is in the best interest of the community to dismiss misdemeanor charges without prejudice so that a federal criminal investigation can be completed. Scottsdale retains the option to refile charges depending on the outcome of the federal investigation.”
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