Federal Search Warrants Executed in Waucoma

By Dave Franzman, Reporter

WAUCOMA, Iowa - Federal authorities along with the Fayette County Sheriff's Department have spent the day in the tiny community of Waucoma.

Authorities are not disclosing the reason behind the activity. However, a statement from Pete Deegan, Assistant U.s Attorney, said, "Special agents with ICE Homeland Security Investigations, in cooperation with the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, are executing several search warrants in Waucoma, Iowa, as part of an ongoing criminal investigation. Since this is an ongoing criminal investigation, no further details of this case can be discussed at this time."

Residents in Waucoma, a town of just 257 residents, said they noticed several authorities and sheriff's deputies at about 6:45 Wednesday morning. Several were awaken by a helicopter flying overheard, apparently connected with the federal raid.

One witness said authorities knocked on doors at an apartment building that was once the Waucoma Hotel. However, no one was taken away from that apartment building. Federal agents also apparently paid a visit to a farm house just south of Highway 18 on County Road V-68. No one was at that home this afternoon, however there were obvious signs that someone had forced an entry to the home during a search.

A third location, a residence, was also searched by authorities on Wednesday.

Some people in Waucoma speculate that the apparent criminal investigation may have some connection with the arrest of two Ossian residents in early August. They were arrested for the alleged kidnapping ans sexual abuse of a 13-year-old Waucoma girl. However, authorities will not confirm those arrests have any connection to the search on Wednesday.
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