Federal authorities raid Laredo government buildings

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LAREDO, Texas (KGNS) -- What is known about the city and county's investigation being carried out by the FBI in Laredo, Texas has been very limited Wednesday.

(Viewer-Submitted Photo)

But now, affiliate KGNS has obtained documents about the search, specifically what involves the City of Laredo.

The document obtained includes multiple people, including current and past city council members and city employees. But the real focus is on Dannenbaum Engineering as it pertains to the city. Anyone who has had involvement with them is under the scope. The investigation is looking into their dealings with Dannenbaum since January 1, 2013.

The FBI will be rifling through many records specified in a document that lists they will be searching for computer hard drives, floppy disks, photographs, bank records, modems, receipts for domestic and international travel, jewelry and much, much more.

In a press conference, city and county officials attempted answering questions. "That although it's embarrassing, we welcome the investigation, at least my office," admits City of Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz before the media at the conference.

According to documents, the FBI is interested in dealings between current and former employees and elected officials with Dannenbaum Engineering. They have multiple offices across Texas and several ongoing projects with Laredo.

Mayor Saenz explains, "The question is have we had or do we have ongoing relationships, contractual relationships with Dannenbaum. And it's primarily with the Hachar-Ruthinger Loop, or Beltway we call it."

Aside from the Hachar-Rathinger project, they're also naming the Loop 20 Extension Project and the Traffic Synchronization Study. Several offices were visited by the FBI, aside from city hall. They also went to other buildings: the City Annex, Public Works, Traffic and Utilities. But in the Valley, San Antonio and Houston more records are being collected from Dannenbaum offices. For now, all the city can do is step back.

Mayor Pete Saenz says, "The FBI is basically calling the shots. They're telling us when and when not to go in. And, of course, we want to cooperate fully with them. And that's the message we want to send the public."

The city's attorney's office sent KGNS a statement saying they are fully cooperating with the investigation. They also add that the FBI has indicated that they expect the process to last through Wednesday evening only, and that all city offices will resume normal business operations by Thursday morning.

On the county's side, FBI also went to the Precinct 4 office represented by Commissioner Jaime Canales. His office sent a statement that says:

"We are aware of multiple Webb County and City of Laredo offices that have been visited by federal authorities. We have limited information at this time but will cooperate in the investigation if necessary. In the meantime, we will continue working for our hard working community residents of precinct 4. We will update the public as more information becomes available. Thank you, Commissioner Jaime Canales"



 
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