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FBI raids Midway City Hall

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By Alice Du Pont

Federal and state agents descended Aug. 15 on Midway City Hall, the homes of Midway City Manager Auburn Ford Jr., as well as citizen and contractor Sam Stevens.

“This is a joint investigation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The city hall has been closed and should reopen around noon,” said an FDLE agent station outside of city hall early Thursday morning. He suggested that all inquires be made to FDLE’s public information office.

Agents arrived at city hall at about 8 a.m., about the same time other agents arrived at the homes of Ford and Stevens.

It has been suggested that the investigation centers around construction of the new fire station that was officially dedicated Aug. 8.

The active investigation is continuing. In an effort to set the minds of citizens at ease, a press released from the Midway Police Department was assuring citizens that police and fire services would be available as usual.

FDLE, however, has not released the probable cause for the investigation.

Agents were observed taking items from city hall and the homes of both Fords and Stevens. 

Ford’s home was searched and, witnesses said, items were removed. It was during the search that authorities reportedly found a handgun in the truck of Ford’s city-owned vehicle. Ford was arrested on a violation of probation charge. The charged stems from an unrelated incident.

Stevens, the contractor for the fire station’s construction, said a female FBI agent knocked on his door at 7:58 a.m. When he answered the door, he said, he was staring down the barrel of guns before someone asked if he was armed.

“I told them that I wasn’t armed, and that I had no weapons ion the house. They asked me who else was in the house and I told them. They came in and took a lot of pictures and took my computer terminal. They asked me what was on it, and I told them,” he said.

Stevens said agents took the terminal and that was all they removed from his house. He said he was asked to sign the search warrant after the search had been completed, and the agents failed to read him his Miranda Rights.