Properties owned by Sean 'Diddy' Combs in both LA and Miami were raided by US Homeland Security yesterday, reportedly as part of a federal sex trafficking investigation.

A statement from Homeland Security Investigations provided only basic information about the raids. It said, “Homeland Security Investigations New York executed law enforcement actions as part of an ongoing investigation, with assistance from HSI Los Angeles, HSI Miami and our local law enforcement partners". 

Sources speaking to NBC News claimed that, as part of the same investigation, federal officers in New York have interviewed three women and a man, and have scheduled three other interviews, in relation to allegations of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms.

Authorities have not confirmed whether Combs himself is the focus of the investigation. He wasn't at any of the properties as they were raided, although reports suggest that his sons were among those being questioned at his LA home. 

TMZ also reported that a private jet owned by the musician had flown to the Caribbean shortly before the raids took place, leading to speculation that he was fleeing. However, it then transpired that Combs was not aboard that plane. He was later seen at a Miami airport, seemingly awaiting another private jet that was due to fly to the Bahamas.

According to NBC News, Homeland Security tracked down Combs to that airport, seized some phones and questioned members of his entourage. However, Combs himself was not arrested or taken into custody. It's not clear if he then proceeded with his flight. 

The criminal investigation follows the flurry of recent lawsuits against Combs accusing him and his associates of sexual harassment and assault. 

Many of those were filed last year under the New York Adult Survivors Act, which allowed new litigation to be filed in relation to allegations that would usually be barred by the statute of limitations under New York law. The highest profile of those lawsuits was the one filed by his former partner Cassie Ventura, which was immediately settled

More recently, producer Rodney 'Lil Rod' Jones Jr filed a lawsuit making various allegations against Combs stemming from his time working with the musician on his 'The Love Album', which was released in partnership with Universal Music's Motown division. 

The raids came shortly after some updates were made to that lawsuit, alongside new allegations that Combs has been harassing Jones’ family since his litigation was filed.  

Universal Music, its CEO Lucian Grainge and former Motown CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam were all named as defendants on the lawsuit, although Habtemariam has now been removed. Jones claims that Universal sponsored, and Grainge attended, listening parties at Combs' LA home where sex workers and underage girls were present and the drinks of female guests were routinely drugged. 

While Habtemariam has been removed as a defendant in Jones' litigation, actor Cuba Gooding Jr has been added, again according to NBC News

The lawsuit already made allegations against the actor. Jones claims that Combs tried to "groom and entice" him "to engage in homosexuality", so that he could be “passed off” to the musician’s friends. That led to an incident involving Gooding Jr, when Jones says he had to use force to stop unsolicited groping. 

In addition to changing the list of defendants on his lawsuit, Jones has also made a new filing with the courts accusing Combs of harassing him and his family since going legal. 

According to AllHipHop, in a letter to the court, Jones accuses Combs of responding to his lawsuit by feeding "manufactured stories" to TMZ and sending associates to harass his eight year old daughter, her mother and his ex-spouses. This has left all of them in “fear of potential harm by defendant Combs", the letter states. 

Combs himself has previously denied all the allegations made against him, but is yet to comment on the criminal investigation. 

A legal rep for Jones did issue a statement about the raids to Rolling Stone, stating, “It’s about damn time. Sometimes justice delayed is not justice denied, so long as justice ultimately arrives". 

Another lawyer who represents Ventura added, “We will always support law enforcement when it seeks to prosecute those that have violated the law. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a process that will hold Mr Combs responsible for his depraved conduct".

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