Man who found Lumber Liquidators raid plans speaks out

Published: Sep. 27, 2013 at 9:50 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2013 at 11:05 PM EDT
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NBC12 has new information on its investigation into the raid at a Virginia hardwood retail store. We were the first to tell you why the feds targeted Lumber Liquidators.

Now the man who gave us the documents is speaking out exclusively to NBC12.

He says he found Homeland Security's Operation Plan in the parking lot of the Target on West Broad Street. Those documents do say that was supposed to be the staging area in Henrico.  Agents also raided the headquarters in Toano.

The man wants us to conceal his identity and just call him "Eric."

The main objective of the plan: to collect emails and documents that could prove the company is importing illegal wood from Russia. Eric says somebody should not have been so careless and people have the right to transparency. The papers also have the names and cell phone numbers of the agents involved.

"I think it just points to government insecurity really," he said. "I think the people have the right to know what the government is doing."

Federal agents believe the wood being imported is part of the habitat of the endangered Siberian Tiger.

Environmental leaders say that is the last Siberian Tiger habitat in the world and say there are less than 500 left. Some environmentalists say buying stolen wood hurts American forester jobs.

"Foresters around America are having a hard time competing internationally," says Alexander von Bismarck, the executive director for the Environmental Investigation Agency in Washington D.C.  "The fact that it's legal and sustainable is not valued enough."

The EIA says you can find this same, legal wood anywhere in the world, including the U.S.

"It would increase the value of the U.S. forest, it would increase the factor to manufacture products in the United States," von Bismarck said.

Lumber Liquidators just purchased more than 100 acres in eastern Henrico to build a distribution center at White Oak Technology Park. It's important to note the company has not been charged and say it is business as usual.

Eric tells NBC12 that he doesn't plan on doing anything more with the papers. Homeland Security refuses to comment on the lost file and will only confirm the raid happened.

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