Federal agents have raided the factory of Gibson Guitars in Nashville, Tennessee, as part of an investigation into the illegal harvesting of endangered wood for guitar making.
The raid came on Tuesday, as officers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service swooped in on the Gibson Guitars manufacturing plant, one of the largest makers of acoustic and electric guitars in the United States. Warrants were served at the time of the raid. Gibson executives are said to be cooperating with federal investigators.
In recent years, Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, has been credited with encouraging the industry to only use sustainable woods in the building of musical instruments. The raid has caught both supporters and conservationists by surprise. It is not known at this time if any endangered wood was confiscated by authorities during the raid.
Gibson began building arch-top acoustic guitars in Kalamazoo, Michigan as early as the 1890’s before moving the operations to Nashville, Tennessee. Gibson, early innovators in the development of the electric guitar, and maker of the Gibson Les Paul, is world renown for it’s high quality and attention to fine detail.