NOV. 17 I GIBSON I LEGAL
Federal agents from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and local police seized wood, guitars, computers and boxes of files from Gibson Guitar’s Massman Road manufacturing facility on Nov. 17, according to a story in the Nashville Post.
The Nashville-based guitar manufacturer is being investigated for violating the Lacey Act, a piece of environmental law, for importing endangered species of rosewood from Madagascar. The island nation off Africa’s east coast is a key producer of the hardwood. The export has links to international criminal activity. At press time, no charges have been filed.
In a statement release by Gibson, the company said it was cooperating fully with the investigation.
“Gibson is a chain-of-custody certified buyer who purchases wood from legal suppliers who are to follow all standards,” read the company’s statement. “Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO [Henry Juszkiewicz] sits on the board of the Rainforest Alliance and takes the issue of certification very seriously. The company will continue to cooperate fully and assist our federal government with all inquiries and information.”