Two hundred law enforcement officers from multiple agencies arrived on buses outside the Jackson County Detention Center early Monday and searched the facility for more than four hours.
Kansas City police officers, FBI agents and Jackson County sheriff’s deputies arrived shortly after 3 a.m. They were still at it at 7:30 a.m., but close to being finished.
Darrin Jones, FBI special agent in charge of the Kansas City office, said it was a coordinated search, but declined to give further details other than it was “pursuant to an ongoing investigation.”
At a press conference outside the jail, he told reporters that court documents to be filed later today will provide more specifics. Previous raids have yielded drugs, weapons and other contraband.
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Flanked by Sheriff Mike Sharp, Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and Joe Piccinini, the head of the detention center, Jones said it was wrong to characterize the operation as a raid.
“While this was no doubt a surprise to a great number of the occupants in this facility,” Jones said, “it was very carefully coordinated” with jail staff and other agencies.
An FBI probe of the detention center jail began two years ago. While initially focusing on guards’ use of excessive force on prisoners, resulting in multiple indictments, the investigation has since then expanded into other concerns.
Sharp thanked the Missouri departments of correction and public safety for their help with the operation.
This story is developing. Check back for more details.