Musicians Clear In Gibson Guitar Investigation

Federal officials say that people who unknowingly possess musical instruments made with illegal wood products do not face prosecution.

In a letter to Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, officials with the U.S. Justice Department and the Interior Department say enforcement efforts are focused on those “removing protected species from the wild and making a profit by trafficking in them.”

The letter responds to correspondence from Blackburn raising concerns over recent raids on Gibson Guitar Corp. factories in Memphis and Nashville.

Agents carried away computer hard drives, pallets of wood and guitars they suspected of being made of wood imported in violation of the Lacey Act, which bans importation of environmentally threatened plants and animals.

Gibson head Henry Juszkiewicz has said the company is being unfairly targeted.

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