(Gates, TN) An FBI task force shut down an auto parts and scrap metal company in Gates, Tenn., for most of the day Thursday.
Workers were sent home as the FBI executed a search warrant at Wright’s Auto Parts and Metals on Wardlow Street.
The raid was a complete surprise to workers, who had barely started their day.
“I don’t know what’s going on. I have no clue, man,” said James McCorkle.
McCorkle runs the fabrication shop at Wright’s Auto Parts and Metals.
Like other employees, he was taken completely by surprise Thursday morning, when a FBI task force raided the business.
“All I know is that I was just over there doing my job and the next thing I know a guy walks up and told me to come over there. He wanted our IDs and he started interviewing everybody,” said McCorkle.
Tennessee Highway Patrol officers blocked the entrance to Wright’s while task force members collected information from workers.
Dennis Griggs has worked for Wright’s for six years and had just started his work day.
“I was out there working and next I know the FBI was coming out from behind every corner. They was asking questions about the job out here. They were saying something was stolen, I don’t know. I don’t have an idea of what was going on,” said Griggs.
The FBI would only say agents were executing a search warrant at the auto parts and scrap metal business.
Members of the task force could be seen walking around the company’s scrap metal yard, as well as a large lot across Wardlow Street filled with loaded scrap metal trailers and junked cars.
Just after noon Thursday, agents left the business and workers were waiting to see if they would be returning to their jobs.
Wright’s is a family-run business that opened in 1990.
Griggs said, as far as he’s concerned, the owners are honest people.
“They good people, the Wright’s. They’re good brothers, they good people,” said Griggs.
We tried contacting the owners of Wright’s Thursday afternoon, but were told no one at the business was available to comment on the FBI raid.
We left our phone number, but no one has returned our call.