FBI agents have raided the island of Little St. James, property of the financier Jeffrey Epstein, two days after his death inside a New York jail.
A group of tourists on a chartered boat off the coast of the island spotted the law enforcement on Monday and took photos and video of the raid.
“We were enjoying lunch when we saw over a dozen people getting off their speedboats and landing on the island,” the anonymous witness told the Daily Mail, which got the footage. “When we looked harder, we could see the FBI logo on the backs of their shirts.”
Epstein bought the 71.5-acre island in 1998 for $7.95 million, and allegedly used it for sex parties involving underage girls and rich and powerful guests for years. His private plane, nicknamed the “Lolita Express,” would land on the nearby island of St. Thomas, from which everyone would take the boat named after his ex-girlfriend and alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell.
The FBI has not officially commented on the raid, but its timing – two days after Epstein was found dead in the Manhattan jail after apparent suicide – has prompted questions.
The 66-year-old was arrested and jailed on July 6, on charges of sex trafficking. On Friday, some 2,000 pages of documents from a lawsuit against Maxwell, detailing the sordid accusations of sexual abuse of multiple underage girls, were unsealed to the public. Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan the following day.
Medical examiners who performed the autopsy on Epstein have declined to publish the cause of death “pending further information.” There were reports that he had not been on suicide watch, that he was alone in his cell, and that the surveillance camera outside had malfunctioned.
Attorney General William Barr condemned the “serious irregularities” at the MCC and demanded a “thorough investigation.”
“Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy,” Barr said, speaking at an event in New Orleans on Monday. “The victims deserve justice and they will get it.”
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