ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Agents with the Internal Revenue Service hit a downtown Albuquerque business Thursday morning, as well as a famous springs resort in Pagosa Springs. Both businesses are owned by the Whittington family, who have been the target of federal agents before for alleged drug smuggling.
A spokesperson in the IRS Criminal Investigations Division would only confirm agents were executing a warrant at the building at 123 Central Ave NW on Thursday. That building is owned by the Gulfstream Group, which includes Big Byte data center.
Many state agencies, as well as Bernalillo County, store data with Big Byte. County representatives tell News 13 they’ve had a contract with Big Byte since 2003.
At the same time special agents with the IRS raided the Springs Resort and Spa, with agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration assisting.
An IRS spokesperson confirms Thursday’s raids are connected, though they couldn’t say what they were looking for at either company.
Both businesses are owned by Nerissa and Keely Whittington, the daughters of Bill Whittington.
Nerissa and Keely Whittington issued this statement in response to today’s raids:
“We have been cooperating with the Government and its ongoing investigation. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of documents have already been supplied. The Whittingtons will continue to cooperate with the agents serving the search warrants. Both locations are open for business.”
According to a search warrant application from last year, federal agents believed Bill and his brother Don Whittington were laundering money through their family’s various businesses. The Springs Resort and Spa was mentioned, and another business, Whittington Motorsports, was raided then.
Bill and Don Whittington, well-known race car drivers from the 1970s and 1980s, have both spent time in prison in connection to drug smuggling, tax evasion and money laundering.