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UPDATE: Subway says raid likely linked to employee probe

July 7, 2015

Law enforcement officers raided the Zionsville home of Subway restaurants pitchman Jared Fogle on Tuesday morning.

Investigators from the FBI and the Indiana State Police were on the scene with police dogs in the 4500 block of Woods Edge Drive starting about 6:30 a.m.

Citing FBI sources, WXIN-TV Channel 59 reported that warrants were served at the address in connection to a child pornography investigation.

The house belongs to Fogle and he was detained while electronics were removed from the home and analyzed inside a mobile forensics van.

Subway said in a statement that it was "very concerned" about the raid, which it believes "is related to a prior investigation" of a former employee of the Jared Foundation, an organization founded by Fogle to raise awareness about childhood obesity. Subway did not immediately say whether that employee was former foundation executive director Russell Taylor, who was arrested in May on child pornography charges.

In late April, the 43-year-old Taylor, the executive director of the Indianapolis-based Jared Foundation, was arrested and eventually charged with seven counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

Taylor spent seven years leading the Jared Foundation. Investigators said hundreds of videos with images of child pornography were found in Taylor’s home.

Fogle issued a written statement after the arrest, saying he was shocked by the allegations and was severing all ties with Taylor.

During a search of Taylor's home this spring, federal investigators say they discovered a cache of sexually explicit photos and videos Taylor allegedly produced by secretly filming minor children at his home. They said they also allegedly found more than 400 videos of child pornography on computers and storage media recovered from Taylor's home office in his Indianapolis residence.

Taylor's attorney, Brad Banks, said Tuesday his client is being held "pre-indictment" by federal officials pending a grand jury possibly considering the allegations against him.

Banks said Taylor was hospitalized for a brief period after the allegations surfaced but is now in federal custody. Sheriff's officials have said that Taylor tried to take his own life in jail.

"The only thing I can say is that I'm aware that there's an ongoing investigation," Banks said.

Tim Horty, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Indianapolis, said prosecutors "are moving forward" with the case against Taylor. He declined to comment on Tuesday's raid at Fogle's home.

Fogle, 37, came to fame after claiming a diet of Subway sandwiches and exercise helped him lose 235 pounds in the late 1990s while a student at Indiana University. Subway began featuring Fogle in commercials soon after, and his story was instrumental in giving the sandwich chain an image as a healthy place to eat.

Fogle left his house just after noon Tuesday with his attorney, wearing a rain jacket with the hood up. He declined comment.

Calls to his home went unanswered Tuesday morning.

Neighbors said Fogle and his wife entertained frequently and would say hello but that they didn't see the couple outside very often.

Jacob Schrader, 19, who lives across from Fogle's house, said the pitchman seems "like a pretty private guy" and that he'd only seen him about a dozen times in the last five or six years.

"He's like an endangered species or something like that," Schrader said.

Subway, which is based in Milford, Connecticut, and is privately held, has struggled in recent years. Last year, industry tracker Technomic said average sales for Subway stores in the United States declined 3 percent from the previous year. The company has about 44,000 locations around the world.

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