Les Christie from CNN
Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz is fuming. As he sees it, his company, the iconic maker of the Les Paul and Firebird X electronic guitars, is being unjustly attacked by the federal government.
On August 24, armed agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raided two of Gibson's Tennessee production facilities and its Nashville headquarters.
The agents confiscated nearly $1 million in rare Indian ebony, finished guitars and electronic data, according to Juszkiewicz. It was the second time in two years that Gibson's factories have been raided by the feds over the rare woods it uses to build its guitars.
"It was a nightmare," said Juszkiewicz. "We had people sitting there making guitars. We had no weapons."
Given that the company was already dealing with the government on an earlier investigation, he said the feds should have worked with the company to make sure its procedures were in compliance. The company has always made a good-faith effort to follow the law, he said.
But now Juszkiewicz isn't feeling so cooperative.
The latest raid revolves around a trade issue. The wood was allegedly exported illegally because it was unfinished and too thick to be a veneer, the only unfinished wood India allows to be shipped, according to a Justice Department affidavit.
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