FBI agents raid Morgan County business and its owner's home

FBI agents raid Morgan County business and its owner's home

Posted:
FBI agents and agents from the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General raided TOPS or Transportation, Operations and Professional Services, Inc. around 10 a.m. FBI agents and agents from the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General raided TOPS or Transportation, Operations and Professional Services, Inc. around 10 a.m.
The company's owner's home was also searched by agents, and boxes of potential evidence were carried out at both locations. The company's owner's home was also searched by agents, and boxes of potential evidence were carried out at both locations.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

OLIVER SPRINGS (WATE) - A Morgan County business was raided by FBI agents Thursday morning, leaving the community with unanswered questions.

FBI agents and agents from the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General raided TOPS or Transportation, Operations and Professional Services, Inc. around 10 a.m.

The business is located in Oliver Springs on Winter Gap Road in the Winter Gap Plaza.

Armed federal agents guarded the front of the office building as employees remained inside.  

The company's owner's home was also searched by agents, and boxes of potential evidence were carried out at both locations.  

The owner of a business near the office building was surprised to see a raid.  

"I've never heard any rumors or seen anything out of the ordinary," said Casey Kennedy, co-owner of B-K Motorsports.  

According to the company's website, TOPS does work on construction projects for the private and public sector.  

The company is also a subcontractor for UCOR and Department of Energy facilities.  

The company's CEO and owner is Joni Armes. Her husband, Joe Armes, is believed to be heavily involved in the company.  

The couple's home on the corner of Armes Road and Reservoir Road in Petros was raided by federal agents at the same time agents raided TOPS.  

"There is no wrongdoing, and certainly I don't have any knowledge. I don't think there would ever be. I just can't imagine, just two good Christian people, I just can't imagine," said Joe Armes Sr., Joe Armes' father.

Armes Sr. says he has no connection to the company, but told 6 News federal agents raided his home in Petros.  

"They just went through some things, papers and such and picked up a few things, very nice and considerate," said Armes Sr.  

The D.O.E. Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District in Knoxville aren't commenting on the case and haven't returned our calls.

Many residents in the small town of Petros were shocked by the developments. Some told 6 News say the Armes family were heavily involved and gave back to the Petros community.  

"The whole family, they're just a staple in Petros. It's something you don't think about happening down the road from you," said Petros resident Melinda Hardin.  

TOPS was founded in 1999, established as a women-owned small business.

The company was formally known as Engineering Construction Service.

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