FBI confirms raid by many federal agencies at Fort Smith home (UPDATE)

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 33,837 views 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other federal agencies on Tuesday (Jan. 31) conducted a raid of a Fort Smith home that took many hours and may have included the discovery of weapons and cash.

According to information provided to Talk Business & Politics, the raid of a home at 6999 Free Ferry Road in Fort Smith uncovered weapons, bombs and possibly bomb-making material, and significant amounts of cash in U.S. and foreign currencies.

Law enforcement agents also confiscated at least one vehicle – an orange Lamborghini. A source also said the person of interest – Neil Ravi Mehta – was able to flee through a tunnel through the back of the residential property. (While they would not provide details, the FBI did challenge the reporting of a tunnel and seizure of a vehicle. Talk Business & Politics will update this story or post a new story if/when the FBI is able to fully detail the operation.)

Connor Hagan, public affairs officer for the FBI Little Rock office, confirmed that the raid happened but would not deny or confirm details provided to Talk Business & Politics. He said the Fort Smith raid is part of an ongoing investigation that includes “multiple locations.”

“The operations did last for the vast majority of the day and into the night. At this point in time, we do not have anyone in custody. … I’m hoping that within the near future we will be able to share more information,” Hagan said, adding that “there is no threat to public safety at this time.”

In addition to the FBI, Hagan said other law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. Also assisting with the Fort Smith raid was the Fort Smith Police Department, Hagan said.

Updated info:
The FBI Little Rock office late Thursday issued the following press release.

FBI Little Rock and ATF New Orleans are asking for the public’s help to locate and arrest Neil Ravi Mehta for unlawful possession of an unregistered destructive device.

On Tuesday, January 31, 2023, FBI Little Rock and ATF New Orleans agents executed a federal search warrant at Mehta’s residence in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. During the court-authorized operation, investigators located multiple explosive devices inside the residence. The explosives were rendered safe by federal agents, but Mehta remains at large.

Mehta is 31 years old and is described as being 5’11” and weighing 160 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. Attached are two photographs of Mehta for public dissemination. Investigators believe Mehta has ties to eastern Oklahoma; Atlanta, GA; Albuquerque, NM; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Houston, TX; Jackson Hole, WY; and New York, NY, as well as Pakistan and India.

Mehta should be considered armed and dangerous. If you see Mehta, please do not approach him, but immediately contact your local law enforcement agency or call 1-800-CALL-FBI.