FBI raid at Jake Paul’s Calabasas mansion tied to disturbance at shopping mall
SWAT team helps FBI serve search warrant at Jake Paul’s Calabasas mansion
A SWAT team was on hand Wednesday as the FBI served a search warrant at the Calabasas mansion of controversial YouTube influencer Jake Paul, sources confirmed to The Times.
The FBI said the raid was tied to an incident in May in which Paul allegedly was involved in some kind of disturbance at an Arizona shopping mall. Search warrants were also served in Nevada and Arizona.
“The FBI is executing a federal search warrant at a residence in Calabasas in connection with an ongoing investigation. The affidavit in support of the search warrant has been sealed by a judge and I am, therefore, prohibited from commenting as to the nature of the investigation. No arrests are planned,” an FBI representative said in a statement.
Details about the investigation were not released, but sources said the early-morning raid was related to a June riot at an Arizona mall in which police say Paul was involved.
A SWAT team was used to enter Paul’s home, law enforcement sources said. Agents trained to make high-risk entries are used when intelligence suggests there are weapons or people who authorities believe could become violent on the premises.
Sources said multiple firearms were found on the property. Video showed Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies carrying at least five long guns to a cruiser parked in front of the mansion and securing the weapons inside the vehicle.
After the initial search, federal agents left Paul’s home in a procession of vehicles, including an armored SWAT truck, a dark van and a truck with several camouflage-dressed agents riding in the back.
Paul has had run-ins with law enforcement in the past.
In June, Arizona police announced he would face misdemeanor charges following a riot at a mall outside Phoenix. Paul, 23, was identified as a participant in the melee at Scottsdale Fashion Square and was charged with criminal trespass and unlawful assembly, the Scottsdale Police Department said in a statement at the time.
Police determined that “Paul was present after the protest was declared an unlawful assembly and the rioters were urged to leave the area by police.” He entered and remained inside the mall when it was closed, police said. Paul said he was merely trying to find people protesting the death of George Floyd, according to the Associated Press.
On Wednesday, officials in Arizona said they were dropping all charges against Paul, and two other men — Arman Izadi and Andrew Leon — in connection with the mall riot. Scottsdale Police Sgt. Ben Hoster said that a federal investigation into the incident is being conducted and that the Scottsdale Police Department and Scottsdale city attorney’s office are coordinating with the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Arizona and the FBI on the case.
Scottsdale police say the riot ultimately resulted in burglaries and thefts inside the large mall.
Paul has adamantly denied being involved in the incident but says he did film it.
“To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism,” Paul said on Twitter. “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 to; we were strictly documenting, not engaging.”
Last month, Paul threw a large house party in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Videos captured at the July 11 gathering showed dozens of young people mixing without masks or social distancing. In the clips, partygoers roll dice and drink, swing from a raised excavator crane and pull a car into the packed lobby of Paul’s Calabasas mansion.
“It’s completely unacceptable to be interacting with people like that during this time,” she said. “People need to be wearing masks and people need to be keeping their distance. You can’t be having parties with over 100 people.”
“I haven’t been in a scandal,” Paul said at the time of the house party. “I’ve been in a false accusation.”
to continue reading