Duggar Family Denies Their Home Was Raided By Homeland Security Investigations Agents
By Zach Seemayer
Following a report that agents from Homeland Security Investigations raided the Duggar family's home in Tontitown, Arkansas -- as part of an "ongoing" investigation -- the Duggars are staunchly denying that such a raid took place.
"We were shocked to see a news report today state that our home was raided by federal law enforcement agencies. This is not true," a rep for the family, who formerly were the focus of the TLC reality series19 Kids and Counting-- said in a statement to ET. "To the best of our knowledge, it’s also not true that any member of our family is the target of any investigation of any kind."
Living a life in the public’s eye has taught us that it is best not to reply to every rumor and piece of 'fake news' that is circulated online," the statement continued. "It would be a full-time job if we attempted to do so."
"However, because of tonight’s media coverage we thought it is important to address this rumor with you" the statement concluded. "Thank you for the love and support that we can always count on in you our fans and friends."
KNWA, a local NBC affiliate in Northwest Arkansas, was the first to report that HSI agents "were present" at the Duggar's home last week. The outlet reported that an HSI spokesperson told them the presence of agents was "pursuant to an on-going federal criminal investigation."
KNWA further reported that the HSI spokesperson did not disclose the nature of the investigation, and that the U.S. District Attorney for Western Arkansas did not comment when contacted by the news outlet.
Jedidiah Duggar -- the 20-year-old son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who recently revealed he's running for State Representative, told KNWA that he had heard nothing of the investigation and wasn't aware of any raid or appearance from HSI.
"I don’t live there, and I am not aware of any investigation," Jedidiah told the outlet.
The HSI is the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. According to the agency's federal website, "HSI has broad legal authority to enforce a diverse array of federal statutes. It uses this authority to investigate all types of cross-border criminal activity" including, "Financial crimes, money laundering and bulk cash smuggling, Commercial fraud and intellectual property theft; cybercrimes, human rights violations, human smuggling and trafficking, immigration fraud, narcotics and weapons smuggling/trafficking, transnational gang activity, export enforcement, and international art and antiquity theft."