A slew of federal agents raided Jake Paul’s home on Wednesday morning after obtaining a search warrant, and the raid is directly related to the YouTube star’s actions during a George Floyd protest in Arizona.
Details of the morning raid are sparse, but video from ABC 7 appeared to show officials removing firearms from Jake’s home.
A spokesman for the FBI told TMZ, “The FBI is investigating allegations of criminal acts surrounding the incident at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May, 2020.”
Social media video from May 30 showed Jake inside the Fashion Square shopping center in Scottsdale, Arizona, while looters stole merchandise and vandalized stores during after hours. Amid ensuing backlash, Jake maintained he was merely “documenting” the mall break-in, not partaking in the rioting. Less than a week later, police charged him with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly, both misdemeanors. However, that case was dropped, but TMZ now theorizes that was likely done at the behest of the FBI for a more serious investigation to take place.
On Wednesday morning, photos showed multiple authorities blocking off Jake’s home in Calabasas, California.
“We understand that a search warrant was executed at Jake’s Calabasas home this morning while Jake was out-of-state,” the YouTuber’s attorney said. “We are still gathering information and will cooperate with the investigation.”
In the Calabasas raid, TMZ said “at least 20” federal agents were involved, and many of the agents wore tactical gear and arrived in armored vehicles.
Not coincidentally, Las Vegas police exercised a search warrant at the home of one of Jake’s best friends on Wednesday, as well. The owner of the Vegas home was with Jake in Arizona (that same friend “officiated” Jake’s faux wedding to Tana Mongeau last year.) Video showed several people leaving the Vegas home in handcuffs.
The raids came a few weeks after Jake, known for his outlandish and borderline-illegal stunts, angered his neighbors by throwing a party during which social distancing wasn’t practiced and face masks appeared to be an afterthought. Video from the mid-July bash showed throngs of young people partying inside and outside of Jake’s mansion. Neighbors said the party went on all day and all night.
“It wasn’t just myself who was outraged, it was everyone who saw the video,” Calabasas Mayor Alicia Weintraub told Fox 11 at the time.
The mayor said her office was flooded with calls from angry residents.
“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,” the mayor said. “It’s really just a party acting like COVID does not exist, it’s acting that businesses aren’t closed.”
Following the party, local authorities announced that there would be a zero-tolerance policy on house parties in the city in violation of health orders.
California has had nearly 10,000 deaths attributed to the coronavirus, and the state averaged more than 7,500 new COVID-19 cases over the last week, according to the California Department of Public Health.