Barry Co. sheriff on FBI raid: ‘We’re OK’

Front window is closed as FBI agents execute a warrant (March 12, 2014).

HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan State Police confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 that the FBI raided the Barry County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday, but the sheriff said there is not anything illegal happening within his department.

Four FBI cars were parked outside the Barry County Sheriff’s Office in Hastings Wednesday morning as the federal agency executed a search warrant.

Several federal agents were seen inside the building. The agents tried to stay out of 24 Hour News 8’s camera range as they worked. At one point, the agents closed a metal partition at the public counter in the lobby, so no one could see what the agents were doing.

A source told 24 Hour News 8 the FBI seized some computers as part of a fraud investigation, but it is unclear what type of fraud.

That same source told 24 Hour News 8 the investigation may involve four former US military vehicles that were parked outside the sheriff’s office in Hastings, but that has not been confirmed.

Sheriff Dar Leaf was unavailable for comment most of Wednesday, but agreed Wednesday evening to an interview.

“We’re working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on an old case. That’s all I can divulge right now. Any other questions really have to go through them,” Leaf said.

When asked if the sheriff’s office was under investigation by the FBI, Leaf replied, “We are not divulging anything right now.”

“The sheriff’s office is OK, I’m OK, the undersheriff is OK,” he said. “We’re OK. We’re working with them (the FBI) on an investigation.”

He would not provide any other details, but when asked whether anything illegal was happening within his department, he replied, “No.”

No federal agency has spoken to 24 Hour News 8 on why the Barry County Sheriff’s Department is on the FBI’s radar. Michigan State Police referred all other questions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Barry County Commissioner Craig Stolsonburg was also unable to provide any insight into the situation. He said he found out there was a raid from the news.

“I’m completely surprised. I’m completely caught off-guard,” he said.

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