Two Foothills Regional Airport employees have been suspended.
Workers said they were in shock when 10 FBI agents showed up at the airport and ordered everyone out. Eyewitness News learned they spent about two hours searching the building.
The Foothills Regional Airport Authority administrator, Alex Nelson, and employee Bradley Adkins have been suspended.
According to a search warrant, the FBI went to the airport last week to seize financial transactions made by the airport with other businesses. The warrant also called for records identifying airport customers and vendors, along with all bank records, checks and credit card bills.
The airport receives nearly $400,000 of funding from taxpayers in Burke and Caldwell counties. Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons is on the Foothills Regional Airport Authority.
“At this point, we really don't know a lot about what’s going on,” Gibbons said. “We haven't been told what really is going on. We just know they have seized records and files and they are now going through that.”
According to the search warrant, some of the items seized included not only the airport's computer but a credit card machine, billing invoices, compact discs and fuel slips.
Brent Brinkley is overseeing airport operations. He too has questions about the FBI investigation.
“I was just really surprised to see them show up here,” he said. “Just really shocked.”