Assistant Secretary to the Bureau Chief of the Decatur office of the Department of Justice Raul Garcerra said today that noted guitarist Eric Clapton has been targeted by the DOJ in an on-going investigation into his “prolonged and protracted use of guitars made from illegally imported and endangered materials.”
“Through a deep undercover investigation,” Mr. Garcerra told Dreadmonger reporters, “we have learned that Mr. Clapton has most likely been a user of Gibson guitars for many, many years. We think he heads a network of like-minded individuals who repeatedly use and may even distribute these illegal instruments for financial gain.”
Citing Mr. Clapton’s Crossroads organization as the potential hub of the alleged distribution organization, Mr. Garcerra went on to say, “We believe we have a case that goes far beyond illegal use and enters into the realm of reckless distribution and, potentially, racketeering.”
The Department of Justice raided Gibson Guitar’s Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee manufacturing facilities on August 24th. During the raid, government agents confiscated millions of dollars worth of exotic woods which were believed to have been illegally imported.
Gibson CEO Henry E. Juszkiewicz believes the company has been unfairly targeted. Juszkiewicz said federal authorities have not talked to him about the situation.
“They need to start talking to us. If there is a problem we would be happy to fix it. We’re not aware of one,” he said. The CEO has maintained consistently that all woods were imported legally and that Gibson has all of the required permits to prove it. Political pundits have speculated that the DOJ was attempting to intimidate Juszkiewicz, a long-time supporter of Republican political candidates.
Mr. Garcerra went on to allege that Mr. Clapton is “part of an underground network of users who continue to use, promote, and distribute these Gibson guitars on a global basis,” through his Crossroads organization.
When Dreadmonger reporters informed Mr. Garcerra that Mr. Clapton’s Crossroads organization was involved in drug rehabilitation at his Crossroads Centre in Antigua, Mr. Garcerra replied, “We believe this alleged ‘Rehab Center’ is actually a front for using and distributing these illegal instruments.”
When Dreadmonger reporters noted that Mr. Clapton is a world-renowned guitarist who has been at the pinnacle of artistic expression for his instrument for the past four decades, Mr. Garcerra replied, “Well, people thought Bernie Madoff was at the pinnacle of his profession too. Look how that turned out.”
Mr. Clapton could not be reached for comment.
- Greg Johnson: Gibson Guitar raids outrageous act from Obama administration (knoxnews.com)
- Under Investigation by DOJ for Using Banned Wood, Gibson Guitar CEO Will Attend Obama’s Job Speech (reason.com)
- DOJ Raid: Our Gibson Guitars Are Gently Weeping! (wycd.radio.com)