Homeland Security Raids Diddy’s Los Angeles and Miami Homes

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Two homes belonging to Sean “Diddy” Combs were raided on Monday by federal agents. This development comes on the heels of a wave of sexual-assault lawsuits filed against the music mogul since November, including one by his ex-girlfriend Cassie Ventura. Combs has denied all the accusations against him.

According to four law-enforcement sources who spoke with NBC News, Homeland Security Investigations agents executed search warrants at Combs’s Los Angeles and Miami properties. A spokesperson for HSI New York confirmed in a statement that the agency “executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation, with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami, and our local law enforcement partners.”

In footage of the scene in L.A. obtained by TMZ, at least two helicopters can be seen circling above Combs’s Beverly Hills property as police officers swarm the area. FOX11 also reported that several individuals had been handcuffed near the home, which is registered to Combs’s Bad Boy Films production company and one of his daughters. It’s unclear where Combs was at the time of the raids, though a video obtained by TMZ taken Monday afternoon appears to show him pacing outside Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport.

In a statement late Tuesday, Combs’s attorney Aaron Dyer called the raids a “gross overuse of military-level force.” He said Combs cooperated with the authorities and that neither the rapper nor his family members had been arrested.

“This unprecedented ambush — paired with an advanced, coordinated media presence — leads to a premature rush to judgment of Mr. Combs and is nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits,” Dyer said. “There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations. Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

TMZ reports that one of Combs’s associates, a 25-year-old named Brendon Paul, was arrested on drug charges at the Opa-Locka airport on Monday. According to an affidavit obtained by the gossip site, Paul was charged with one count of possession of suspected cocaine and another of possession of “suspected marijuana candy.” Paul was booked into jail and has since been bailed out.

Paul is one of the many associates named in a lawsuit that Combs’s former videographer filed back in February. In the lawsuit, Rodney Jones alleges that Combs is operating a “sex-trafficking venture” and that that Paul works as Combs’s “mule.” According to Jones, Paul “acquires and distributes” drugs and guns for the mogul. TMZ reports that there is no evidence the drugs found with Paul on Monday have any connection to Combs.

A source familiar with the matter told NBC News the searches are connected to a federal investigation regarding allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms. According to NBC News and Rolling Stone, federal agents in New York have interviewed at least four people regarding the allegations.

Previously, Combs had reached a settlement in the rape lawsuit brought by Ventura in November, only to get slammed with new sexual-assault allegations from three more women and one man. The lawsuits accuse Combs of violent attacks and of creating and distributing “revenge porn.” Combs has denied the allegations, calling them “sickening.”

Douglas Wigdor, the lawyer representing Ventura and a Jane Doe who also sued Combs, said in a statement in response to the raids, “We will always support law enforcement when it seeks to prosecute those that have violated the law. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a process that will hold Mr. Combs responsible for his depraved conduct.”

This post has been updated.

Homeland Security Raids Diddy’s Los Angeles and Miami Homes