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Sean 'Diddy' Combs's lawyer criticizes 'ambush' raids of rapper's homes amid sex trafficking investigation. Here's what we know.

Federal law enforcement officials searched the music mogul's Los Angeles and Miami properties.

Producer-rapper Sean Combs.
Sean “Diddy” Combs had two homes raided by authorities on March 25. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Two properties owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs were raided by federal agents on Monday related to an ongoing sex trafficking investigation. Combs’s lawyer called it “a gross overuse of military-level force” and said his client is innocent and will “fight ... to clear his name.”

🚨 What just happened?

On Monday afternoon, video and images spread showing federal Homeland Security Investigations agents and other law enforcement searching the music mogul’s Los Angeles and Miami properties. NBC News has since reported that firearms were found in both locations though it's not immediately clear what kind or who they belong to.

The Department of Homeland Security Investigations New York told Yahoo Entertainment it “executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation.” Law enforcement sources told multiple news outlets that Combs is the subject of a federal sex trafficking investigation. The warrant is out of the Southern District of New York.

A lawyer for Combs, who has been accused of sex trafficking by ex-girlfriend Cassie, producer Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones and a Jane Doe since November, said in a statement Tuesday that the searches carried out by federal authorities at the rappers’ Miami and Los Angeles homes were “a gross overuse of military-level force” and insisted that Combs is “innocent and will continue to fight” to clear his name.

“Yesterday, there was a gross overuse of military-level force as search warrants were executed at Mr. Combs’ residences,” attorney Aaron Dyer said in the first statement issued by Combs’s team since Monday’s raids. “There is no excuse for the excessive show of force and hostility exhibited by authorities or the way his children and employees were treated. Mr. Combs was never detained but spoke to and cooperated with authorities.”

The statement continued, “Despite media speculation, neither Mr. Combs nor any of his family members have been arrested nor has their ability to travel been restricted in any way. This unprecedented ambush — paired with an advanced, coordinated media presence — leads to a premature rush to judgment of Mr. Combs and is nothing more than a witch hunt based on meritless accusations made in civil lawsuits. There has been no finding of criminal or civil liability with any of these allegations. Mr. Combs is innocent and will continue to fight every single day to clear his name.”

Investigators seized phones from Combs, who has also gone by the name Puff Daddy, at Miami Opa-Locka Executive Airport, where the Bad Boy Records founder was about to travel to the Caribbean with an entourage, law enforcement sources told NBC News. Footage obtained by TMZ showed him pacing at the airport.

At the airport, Brendan Paul — who has ties to Combs — was taken into custody by Miami-Dade police on cocaine and marijuana possession charges. The arrest affidavit notes that police were working with Homeland Security agents when the arrest was made. TMZ published a photo of Paul with Combs and investigators on the airport tarmac. Jones’s lawsuit against Combs, filed in February, claims that Paul, a former college basketball player, works as Combs’s “mule,” acquiring and distributing drugs and guns.

It’s unclear whether Combs traveled to the Caribbean as planned. Amid reports that he had flown to Antigua, the island’s prime minister, Gaston Browne, denied the star was there.

About a dozen media members in the middle of the street work as two law enforcement officers stand behind police tape outside Combs’s L.A. property.
Reporters outside Combs’s Holmby Hills home in L.A. (Carlin Stiehl/Reuters)

During the raid of Combs’s Los Angeles mansion, footage showed men — later identified as Justin and Christian “King” Combs, two of the rapper’s sons — being detained outside the house.

Federal officials interviewed four women and a man related to allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault and the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms, according to Rolling Stone. Interviews with three other people are scheduled.

Four Homeland Security Investigation agents stand near the entrance of Combs’s Miami home.
Combs’s estate on Miami’s Star Island was also raided. (Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images)

Attorney Douglas Wigdor, who represents Cassie and a Jane Doe accuser, said in a statement to the outlet: “We will always support law enforcement when it seeks to prosecute those that have violated the law. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a process that will hold Mr. Combs responsible for his depraved conduct.”

Attorney Tyrone Blackburn, who represents two other Combs accusers — music producer Jones and Liza Gardner — also released a statement to Rolling Stone, saying, “It’s about damn time. Sometimes justice delayed is not justice denied, so long as justice ultimately arrives.”

A law enforcement agent carries a bag of evidence to a van as federal agents stand at the entrance to a property belonging to Combs.
Law enforcement outside Combs’s Miami home. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

🗓️ How did we end up here?

In November, singer, model and actress Cassie, who had a romantic relationship with Combs for over a decade, filed an explosive lawsuit against him, alleging rape, abuse and sex trafficking. He denied the allegations. One day later, the exes settled the lawsuit, which was filed in New York under the New York Adult Survivors Act. The terms were not disclosed.

That opened the floodgates. Three other women filed lawsuits against Combs in the Southern District of New York alleging that they were sexually assaulted by the “I’ll Be Missing You” singer. Two of the women said they were teenagers at the time. One allegation involved gang rape and sex trafficking. Diddy denied the allegations in a statement, insisting he “did not do any of the awful things being alleged.”

In February, Jones, a producer who worked for Combs between 2022 and 2023, sued him, alleging that Combs sexually harassed, drugged and threatened him. He claimed Combs forced him to solicit sex workers and have sex with them at Combs’s direction. Jones claimed that on at least one occasion, he was drugged, waking up naked and disoriented in bed with Combs and two sex workers. Jones claimed to have witnessed Combs and others “engaging in serious illegal activity,” including sex trafficking underage sex workers and drugging them, while he lived and traveled with the superstar. Combs previously called Jones’s lawsuit “pure fiction.”

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is also a defendant in Jones’s lawsuit. Jones, who is heterosexual, alleged that Combs “groomed” him to pass him off to friends. Jones alleged that Combs left him alone with Gooding, who “began touching, groping and fondling” him. Jones said he “forcibly pushed” Gooding away. Jones alleged that Combs “breached his duty” by failing to stop Gooding “from sexually assaulting” him. Gooding has not responded to a request for comment about the lawsuit.

As a result of the allegations, Combs — a father of seven — stepped down as chairman of media network Revolt. On Tuesday, it was reported that Combs sold his remaining shares in the company. A rep for the company has not responded to a request for comment. Additionally, Hulu ditched plans for a reality series about his family.

⚖️ Combs’s previous legal troubles

Combs had run-ins with authorities in the past. In 1999, he was arrested for assaulting Interscope Records exec Steve Stoute over a music video. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of harassment and was sentenced to one day of anger management.

The same year, Combs and then girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were pulled over after fleeing a New York City nightclub where a shooting took place. A gun was found in the car, and Combs faced weapons and bribery charges but was acquitted.

Updated, March 27, 2024, at 12:10 p.m.: The piece has been updated to reflect news developments.