Sun
Jul 16 2006
01:45 pm

Federal agents, assisted by the Knoxville Police Department, are conducting a raid at several businesses at Downtown Knoxville's Market Square. According to witnesses, the operation began sometime before 9:00 AM this morning.

Law enforcement officials were observed at the Preservation Pub, Oodles, and the World Grotto. They were removing what appeared to be boxes of records and at least one computer from the Preservation Pub. The items were loaded onto a large rental truck.

Occupants of residential spaces above the businesses were also asked to leave and were not being let back in. KPD officers were stationed at the entrances of the businesses.

There is no word at this time on what is being investigated. Witnesses reported that there are "multiple federal agencies" involved. Agents from the DEA and the U.S. Treasury Criminal Investigation unit were observed at the scene.

Market Square merchants expressed concern about what it would mean for business if these popular establishments, which attract large numbers of visitors to the Square, were shut down.

UPDATE: WATE has this, and KNS files this report, which does not mention the World Grotto as being involved, and says that the Preservation Pub was open for business late this afternoon. The KNS report says the agents were executing a warrant for the businesses and residence of Scott and Bernadette West.

UPDATE: WBIR reported on their evening newscast that Scott West has been arrested. No other information is available at this time.

UPDATE: The KNS is now reporting that Scott West has surrendered to federal authorities on charges related to marijuana and money laundering.

UPDATE: For the latest, see the Monday morning roundup.

More photos after the jump...

(All photos Copyright (C) 2006, R. Neal)

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236
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JustJohnny's picture

drama...

...and here I thought that the only drama on the Sqaure was Henry V, which is planned to start at 7pm tonight at Market Square.

Knox Forum's picture

You have the 1st news

(link...)

You are the 1t on the web with this news. Please post more details when youget them. Thanks.

redmondkr's picture

Congrats on Your Scoop!

The local MSM folks are busy with the news of a Bryant supporter in a chicken suit running down a Corker supporter.   What next?  Will we see them poking each other's eyes?

Justin's picture

WATE finally reported the

WATE finally reported the raid (link...)

And the MSM wonders why we dont give a shit about watching local news anymore...quit talking about watermelon seed spitting contests and jiz stained sheets in rat trap hotels and focus on the real stuff.

SteveMule's picture

Speculation

Judging from the Federal Ageny involved I would suspect some sort of drug trafficing.  Since the other stores also owned by the same folks but in different areas are not involved I suspect that whatever crime(s) happened only happened in the Market Square stores. Something like this: deal made in one store, money exchanged in another and delivery made in the third. But, hey, I'm just guessing.

Take Care, Be Good and don't play in the street!

SteveMule

Drake's picture

Those businesses have

Those businesses have benefited from some sweet deals from the Market Square renewal. I wonder what the city's position in this is? Another black eye for that area?

Factchecker's picture

Strange, the images here are

Strange, the images here are posted on the knoxshows forum linked above.  Otherwise, I have a sick feeling about this.  But one question is: Do you think a drug transaction would be on a business computer?  Seems kinda dumb that it would be.

R. Neal's picture

Do the images actually

Do the images actually appear? When I go there, I only see a red 'X' where my site's 'hotlink protection' is blocking the request. Don't know about the computers. News reports now say there are money laundering charges involved, which might explain seizure of business records and computers.

JustJohnny's picture

Pub...

....seemed to be open tonight. Guess it wasn't bad enough to padlock doors.

Factchecker's picture

The images did appear on my

The images did appear on my Netscape browser.  Just X's on my laptop's IE, though.

JustJohnny's picture

firefox.....

they appear using firefox too.....

SteveMule's picture

Little Red X's with IE

Guys,

Either left click the IE icon on the desktop. or click Tools at the top of the IE window - by whatever method go to Internet Options.  Click the Advanced tab and scroll down to Multimedia and make sure that Show Pictures and Smart Image Dithering are checked. Reboot  and the pictures should now be visible.  Hope this helps.

Take Care, Be Good and don't play in the street!

SteveMule

R. Neal's picture

Well, hopefully they won't

Well, hopefully they won't be any more, because I asked the poster to remove the links. Theft of copyrighted images and bandwidth is not cool, regardless of enabling browser technology.

SteveMule's picture

Huh?

What?

Take Care, Be Good and don't play in the street!

SteveMule

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