By Andrew Blankstein and Dennis Romero
The FBI on Wednesday searched the home of 23-year-old YouTube star Jake Paul and that of nightclub promoter Arman Izadi as part of an investigation into rioting at an Arizona mall in May amid George Floyd protests, authorities said.
The searches at Paul's Calabasas, California, residence and at Izadi's "Graffiti Mansion" in Las Vegas were part of the bureau's investigation of "allegations of criminal acts surrounding the incident at Scottsdale Fashion Square in May," the FBI's Phoenix office said in a statement.
The Scottsdale Police Department said in a statement Wednesday that misdemeanor charges against Paul, Izadi and Andrew Leon "related to their involvement" in the rioting were being dismissed to clear the way for the federal "criminal" investigation of the trio.
The allegations from Scottsdale police stemming from the May incident included criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly, and the department said it reserved the option to refile the charges after the conclusion of the federal investigation.
The search warrants served on Wednesday were sealed, and the FBI said that it could not comment further.
Stores in the Old Town Scottsdale area — including Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and a Mercedes Benz dealership — were damaged May 30 into May 31 during the protests, police said.
Paul was captured on video inside the Fashion Square Mall documenting the unrest. Police alleged in a statement that he "unlawfully entered" the mall and stayed after police had declared an unlawful assembly that night.
The Scottsdale Police Department's statement said that it "received hundreds of tips and videos identifying" Paul as "a participant in the riot."
Paul said on May 31 that he and his "group" were part of peaceful protests that day to decry the in-custody death of Floyd and that he observed looting, but did not participate in it.
"Gimme my charges and let’s put the focus back on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter," he said on Twitter June 4.
Paul, who exited the Disney Channel’s “Bizaardvark” show in 2017, shares the YouTube spotlight with older brother Logan and is known for stunt videos, boxing and hosting house parties.
Amid a pandemic that has prohibited gatherings statewide, a party at Paul's Calabasas residence on July 11 drew the ire of the city's mayor, Alicia Weintraub.