Armed federal agents entered the home of the YouTuber on Wednesday morning (5 August) as part of an ongoing investigation, an FBI representative confirmed to The Independent.
Footage from local news showed a number of large firearms being confiscated during the raid, including a long gun which was reportedly found leaning on a hot tub in his garden. Paul was not home during the search, his attorney said.
Paul, who has more than 20 million subscribers on YouTube, appeared to allude to the controversy in his latest Instagram story (Friday7 August), sharing a clip of himself looking horrified with the caption: “Me logging onto social media this week.”
The FBI confirmed that the raid was carried out in connection to reports that Paul had taken part in a riot at a shopping mall in Scottsdale, Arizona in June.
“The FBI is investigating allegations of criminal acts surrounding the incident at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May 2020,” the bureau said in a statement, adding that a search warrant was also executed in Las Vegas, but no arrests were immediately planned.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Scottsdale police announced that they were dismissing local charges against Paul so that a federal criminal investigation could be carried out.
At the time of the riot, the 23-year-old denied taking part in any looting or criminal activity, insisting that he was instead trying to find a protest against the death of George Floyd.
Paul’s neighbours have reported previously hearing “loud explosions” coming from the star’s house.
Paul, 23, rose to fame on the video sharing app Vine, before crossing over to YouTube. He is renowned for his provocative humour and pranks.