Treasury agents leave Goodwill with boxes, bags, crates - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Treasury agents leave Goodwill with boxes, bags, crates

MPD patrols outside Memphis Goodwill around noon Wednesday (Source: WMC Action News 5) MPD patrols outside Memphis Goodwill around noon Wednesday (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Agents leave Memphis Goodwill at midnight (Source: WMC Action News 5) Agents leave Memphis Goodwill at midnight (Source: WMC Action News 5)

The U.S. Treasury Department spent nearly all day Wednesday investigating inside Memphis Goodwill, located at Summer Avenue and Stage Road.

By midnight, the last federal agents left the building carrying boxes, bags, and crates. It's unclear why the agents raided the building, what they removed, and if they will return Thursday.

Around noon, Chopper 5 flew over the scene and noticed several Memphis police cars and crime scene tape around the building. They were blocking the entrance so federal investigators could carry out a search warrant of the offices.

It’s unclear why the search warrant is being conducted but WMC Action News 5 uncovered a $9.79 million contract between Memphis Goodwill and the Department of Treasury. The contract is for janitorial services at government buildings.

"All I saw was a swarm of police cars and I didn't know what was going on. And then they put the police tape out,” said witness Kevin Dougher.

Dougher just happened to be at Memphis Goodwill when authorities arrived.  He originally thought someone was hurt but when no ambulances showed up, he realized something else was going on.

“The way they came in, they were on it, they were like mad.  They were on it.”

Chopper 5 captured federal agents coming in and out of the Memphis Goodwill offices carrying boxes. 

Memphis police could only say that they were assisting federal agents in serving a search warrant at the building.

U.S. Attorney's Office also declined to comment on what was happening. Goodwill Memphis’ phone lines appeared to be disconnected.

Goodwill stores stayed open all day and customers said it was business as usual. The adjoining retail store even remained open despite the crime scene tape put up around part of the facility.

President and CEO of Memphis Goodwill Industries Tony Martini released a statement on the issue and operations of the store:

"We are thankful to say that operations are running as usual today. While we’re not able to share a great deal at this point, we can tell you that yesterday’s visit was related to federal government contracts we have to employ local residents, including those with disabilities. We had been in regular contact with the commission who oversees these agreements about questions they had on certain elements of contract requirements. On our end, we’ve worked tirelessly to address their concerns and get things right-tracked, and we’ll continue to do so. So while this particular issue was one we had become aware of, the manner of yesterday’s visit definitely was a surprise. We will keep working alongside everyone involved to ensure we reach a timely resolution so that we may focus on our mission of job creation and support for those with barriers to employment. I do want to reiterate that this has in no way affected our general operations, including donations, store operations, the Excel Center, jobs centers and contracts." 

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