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Since federal agents raided two of Sean Combs’s homes in Los Angeles and the Miami area few weeks ago, the investigation into the hip-hop mogul has become the subject of intense public interest and speculation.

The raids were conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, which has said very little about the focus of its inquiry. No criminal charges have been filed against Mr. Combs in relation to the case.

But the footage of federal officers brandishing weapons while entering Mr. Combs’s sprawling Los Angeles mansion, where they confiscated computers and other devices, has raised questions about the nature of the investigation and how it might relate to a series of civil sexual assault lawsuits filed against Mr. Combs in recent months.

Mr. Combs — a high-profile music producer and artist for decades who has been lauded as one of the architects of hip-hop’s commercial rise — has vehemently denied all the accusations, and his lawyer called the raids a “witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits.”

As details about the federal investigation gradually emerge, here is what we know about Mr. Combs’s legal troubles.

On the afternoon of March 25, federal agents raided residences associated with Mr. Combs, 54, in Florida and California. Footage of the Los Angeles raid taken by a local television station, Fox 11, captured agents filing past manicured hedges and into Mr. Combs’s home.

Video of Mr. Combs’s home showing the aftermath of the raid that was published by TMZ showed belongings spilling out of cabinets and a set of empty shelves with Mr. Combs’s three Grammys sitting on top.

Mr. Combs was stopped that day at an airport in the Miami area as he was preparing to leave for the Bahamas, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who noted that federal agents took a number of electronic devices from him. Mr. Combs cooperated with authorities and was not detained, his lawyer said.

A federal official said the inquiry into Mr. Combs was at least in part a human trafficking investigation. Homeland Security Investigations often leads inquiries into trafficking. It’s not clear exactly how the federal investigation relates to the civil lawsuits filed against Mr. Combs, but all of the civil suits accused him of violating sex trafficking laws.

Source: New York Times

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