NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Federal agents raided the Gibson Guitar Corporation in Nashville Wednesday morning.
Authorities have yet to release details as to why the facility on Massman Drive off Elm Hill Pike was raided although it's believed to be related to a raid at the same facility in November 2009 for possible violations of the Lacey Act.
The Lacey Act is a federal environmental law that prohibits importing endangered plants and wildlife. It was amended in 2009 to also include wood products.
During the raid in 2009, federal agents seized materials, files and computers from the plant on allegations that a rare ebony wood from Madagascar was illegally used at the factory.
No charges were ever filed
Wednesday morning, several hundred employees at the facility were first evacuated.
“We were just in our department and one of the supervisors just come in and said everybody get out and we just shut the machines off and headed out the door,” one employee who did want to be identified said.
They were later told to go home after being allowed to reenter the building to collect their belongings.
The Gibson Guitar facility in Memphis was also raided by federal authorities Wednesday morning.
Agents with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service remained on the scene in Nashville Wednesday afternoon.
Nashville's News 2 tried numerous times to reach Gibson Guitar for comment, but our calls were not returned.
It is unknown if workers will return to on Thursday.
- Nov. 17, 2009: Gibson under federal investigation