Security, ICE agents raid EOD Technology Inc. in Loudon
LENOIR CITY - Federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security
and Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday raided a defense
contractor in Loudon County involved in security operations in
Afghanistan and Iraq.
The agents, with assistance from the Lenoir City Police Department,
descended on EOD Technology Inc. headquarters early Wednesday and spent
the day poring through records. Employees were ushered from their
workplace throughout the morning as federal agents entered the
corporation's three-building campus on Old Highway 95 with boxes and
As many as a dozen agents, most wearing blue, Federal Agent
windbreakers, were on site during the day, going in and out of the
buildings. Agents were seen unloading equipment from unmarked vehicles
and carrying paperwork between the various buildings on the EOD
Technology campus. The agents also were seen escorting several occupants
of the buildings to their vehicles.
Agents declined to comment, instead referring all questions to ICE
media relations and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Knoxville. A Homeland
Security Department agent, however, did say the agencies were executing
a federal search warrant on the company, and a Lenoir City dispatcher
said police were providing support.
Temple Black, a spokesman with the Department of Homeland Security,
confirmed the agency's role in the EODT investigation. Black also
referred questions about the raid to the U.S. Attorney's Office in
"I can confirm that Homeland Security Investigations is involved in a
law enforcement investigation in Lenoir City, Tenn.," Black said in a
statement. "However, in order to preserve the integrity of the ongoing
investigation, we are precluded from making any further comments at this
EODT then released a comment on the raid Wednesday afternoon.
"This event came as a complete surprise to us," the company said in a
statement released by its Nashville public relations firm, McNeely
Pigott & Fox.
"We are a very responsibly run company with a strong ethical
standard, and do not know of anything that could have triggered this
event. We are cooperating with the federal investigators to help clear
up whatever concerns there are. We obviously would not have been
selected for some of the sensitive and important projects we handle for
our country around the world had we not been thoroughly investigated
before and found to be trustworthy. We plan to continue serving our
customers and keep our focus on our work. We hope this matter will be
EOD Technology has taken active roles in U.S. military action in Iraq
and has operations and employees supporting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
The company was named in an October New York Times story about Afghan
private security forces with ties to the Taliban, Iranian intelligence
and criminal networks being hired to guard American military bases in
The story cited a Senate Armed Services Committee report that some
Afghans hired by EOD, which was awarded a U.S. Army contract to provide
security at a training center for Afghan police officers, were also
providing information to Iran.
In October, a Kuwaiti manufacturer of temporary housing was among
several plaintiffs that sued the company in U.S. District Court in
Knoxville, alleging that the company stole more than $1 million worth of
The suit alleged that the manufacturer was paying EOD to guard a
manufacturing compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, and that in October, 2009,
EOD security personnel stormed the compound, loaded housing modules onto
15 flatbed trucks, and held employees of the manufacturer at gunpoint
EOD Technology was founded in 1987 by two
retired Marine sergeants, and was initially focused on the task of
removing unexploded ordnance from former military sites in the U.S. and
hot spots overseas. Since then it has grown significantly, and came in
at No. 86 in Government Executive magazine's ranking of the Top 100
defense contractors for 2008. For fiscal year 2009, a federal government
listing of contractors at
www.USAspending.gov found that EODT had received contracts worth
$66.8 million. In 2009, the company received a $99.9 million contract to
provide security services in eastern Afghanistan.