Homeland Security searches Lumber Liquidators in Henrico, Toano
HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Federal investigators are executing search warrants at the Lumber Liquidators offices in Henrico and Toano.
The company's Toano headquarters, as well as offices on West Broad Street in Henrico were searched Thursday, according to the Homeland Security Investigations Office out of Norfolk which is handling the case.
Authorities from DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement searched the locations in coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Justice.
The search warrants are sealed and no other information is currently being released.
But NBC12 uncovered information that says the reason for this raid is that protected wood was being illegally imported. The investigation reveals that the wood species is part of the habitat of the highly endangered Siberian tiger.
The wood originates in Russia and is processed in China, but according to information on the documents, government agents suspect that it was declared as coming from other countries. That would be a violation of the "Lacey Act," which combats trafficking of "illegal" wildlife, fish and plants.
Toano is the Lumber Liquidators headquarters, but this investigation also involves a raid on the Henrico store on West Broad Street.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Justice are also working with Homeland Security office out of Norfolk.
Agents confirm the raid, but not the specifics involved.
A spokesperson for the store released this statement:
"We are cooperating to provide information and documentation to answer the questions being asked relating to the importation of certain products."
We want to make it clear Lumber Liquidators has not been charged with anything.
Lumber Liquidators has more than 300 stores in the United States.
We reached out to a company spokesperson but have not called back.
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