LAREDO — The FBI conducted what it described as “court-authorized” law enforcement activity at the Laredo home of U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar on Wednesday.
Agents were also present at his downtown campaign office in Laredo.
Although FBI spokesperson Roseanne Hughes did not identify what the agency is investigating, she did issue a statement acknowledging the activity.
Asked for a statement about the FBI’s presence at Cuellar’s home, Hughes confirmed law enforcement activity in the area.
“The FBI was present in the vicinity of Windridge Drive and Estate Drive in Laredo conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity,” the statement read. “The FBI cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation.”
At Cuellar’s home, located in the 8200 block of Estate Drive, federal vehicles were seen with cases and other items taken from the congressman’s house as over two dozen agents filed in and out of the residence Wednesday afternoon.
Two agents with a clipboard and camera in hand snapped photos of the trucks parked out front. The truck was again photographed and searched by agents using flashlights after the sun set.
Some activity was also observed outside the campaign office on Davis and Washington Ave. in the afternoon hours. Several government vehicles were parked outside. Two of them, a dark colored van and truck, drove later to the residence around 7 p.m. An agent wearing an FBI emblazoned jacket popped out of one of the vehicles and made her way to the home.
In a statement Wednesday night, the congressman’s office attributed the following to Cuellar: “Congressman Cuellar will fully cooperate in any investigation. He is committed to ensuring that justice and the law are upheld.”
It was unclear if anyone was home during the time the FBI was present, but the dogs in the backyard wagged their tails and barked at the occasional neighbor lingering too long near the sidewalk.
Speculation formed surrounding the presence of the federal agents.
“Was it a terroristic threat?” one neighbor in a truck asked another man standing on his driveway as he drove by. Another woman approached the same neighbor and said she saw them looking through files as she drove by.
A silent parade of onlookers drove slowly by the neighborhood, some stuck their phones out their windows like the driver of a white SUV, a sticker showing her support for one of Cuellar’s challengers clung to the rear window.
Agents worked into the night. At one point, an agent walked in carrying a bag of ice and cases of soda into the home. Others grabbed snacks and took them inside.
By around 7:30 p.m., a group of agents loaded large bags, plastic bins, and a computer into a federal vehicle. Some agents appeared to be logging the items.
Shrugs and questions abound on the streets of Laredo, the congressman’s home, and on social media.