At least four Sumner County homes and a Hendersonville restaurant were raided by federal authorities on Sept. 2 as part of a widespread investigation that authorities have remained tight-lipped about.
Authorities were at a home in the Stonecrest subdivision for more than five hours beginning at 6 a.m. while another home that appears to be owned by the same person was raided in the Wyncrest subdivision.
Federal agents were seen later in the day combing through documents at Bonfire Mongolian Grill on Indian Lake Boulevard.
“I can confirm Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) presence, but for any comment as to the reason for the agency’s presence, we are deferring to the U.S. Attorney at this time,” said Bryan D. Cox, Southern Region Public Affairs Director for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department.
“The increased presence of local, state, and federal law enforcement at several locations in the Middle Tennessee area today represent actions related to employees of businesses who may have witnessed criminal activity,” said U. S. Attorney’s Office Public Information Officer David Boling.
“The purpose of these actions is not to file criminal charges or initiate removal proceedings against these individuals. We are unable to comment further at this time.”
A home in the 1100 block of Peninsula Drive in Gallatin was also raided the same day as was a home in the Carellton subdivision off of Long Hollow Pike.
Sumner County tax records show that the Peninsula Drive home as well as the homes in Wyncrest and Stonecrest are owned by Zhong Zhi Zhuo. Zhuo is also listed as the owner of Bonfire and Fuji Japanese Steakhouse on Indian Lake Boulevard. Both restaurants were closed as of late last week, however a Facebook post over the weekend indicated that the Bonfire restaurant is currently hiring part-time employees. Bonfire Grill also has locations in Mt. Juliet, Clarksville and Spring Hill. Authorities wouldn’t confirm if any of those locations were part of the investigation, but indicated their reach was beyond Sumner County.
An email to Bonfire’s corporate office seeking comment was not returned by this newspaper’s print deadline.