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Fed search Cherokee Tobacco offices, warehouse

Federal agents descended on Cherokee Tobacco offices and warehouse space in Riverdale on Thursday morning.

One federal agent, positioned inside the lobby area of the office building located at 1057 Bill Tuck Highway in South Boston, confirmed federal authorities were searching Cherokee offices and warehouse space.

Federal agents stopped people as they entered the office building throughout the afternoon Thursday.

Jeff Boshek, public information officer for the Washington Field Division of ATF, said Thursday it did not appear any ATF agents from the Richmond, Roanoke or Bristol offices were involved in the search.

Boshek referred calls to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Dee Rybiski, media coordinator and community outreach specialist with the FBI Richmond Division, said Thursday afternoon the federal agents were “none of our people,” and she had no knowledge of any current investigation underway in South Boston.

Tanya Espinosa, a spokesperson for USDA, said Thursday her organization is looking into the matter.

Repeated attempts to contact Kathy Farley, president of Cherokee Tobacco, were unsuccessful, and messages left on her cell phone and at her office were not returned Thursday afternoon.  

No further information concerning the search at Cherokee were available at press time.