Note: This story was last updated at 9:45 a.m. May 25.
The law enforcement search at McGuire—a store that sells used books, compact discs, digital video discs, and electronics—is expected to last hours and continue through the night (Thursday night).
The Seventh Judicial District Crime Task Force of Anderson County executed search warrants at McGuire Used Books, CDs, DVDs, Games, and More starting at about noon Thursday. There were reported to be about a dozen employees in the store at the time the search began.
Authorities declined to say why they were searching the store on Thursday afternoon. But they had a stack of moving boxes ready to be folded and numerous boxes folded and ready to be used, and there were several moving trucks parked near the store, including one right in front of it.
Crime scene tape blocked entry to the store, and a Seventh Judicial District Crime Task Force crime scene truck was parked out front.
At about 10 p.m. Thursday, it appeared that boxes with items inside were occasionally being brought out of the store and loaded into the moving truck parked in front of McGuire.
Employees who talked to a reporter raised concerns about business practices related to gift cards and ink cartridges, and employment practices related to worker payments, among other issues. But authorities declined to comment on those concerns or to say whether employees had talked to law enforcement about those concerns, and it wasn’t clear if that is why officers were searching the store.
One employee who was in the store when the search began said she was questioned and her cell phone was reviewed before she was allowed to leave with her personal items. It wasn’t clear how many employees or others might have been interviewed during the search.
Employees, particularly those who have families to support, are worried they might have lost their jobs. It wasn’t immediately clear if and when McGuire might re-open.
There were reports that there were related searches at businesses in Clinton and Kingston and at a home in Oak Ridge.
Among the law enforcement officials at the store on Thursday were the Seventh Judicial District Crime Task Force, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, the Eighth Drug Task Force, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, and Clinton Police Department.
Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark was at the store, and Assistant District Attorney General Ryan Spitzer arrived Thursday night.
Oak Ridge Today was not able to immediately find any pending cases related to Thursday’s search in either state or federal court early Friday morning, and it’s not clear what might happen next.
McGuire is near the intersection of South Illinois Avenue and South Tulane Avenue in central Oak Ridge.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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