Federal investigation underway at JinkoSolar plant on Jacksonville’s Westside
UPDATED STORY: Jacksonville leaders pull plug on tax break for JinkoSolar after federal raid
Action News Jax has confirmed a federal investigation is underway at JinkoSolar on the Westside.
JinkoSolar is a major solar industry player headquartered in China.
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The company makes solar panels at its facility in Jacksonville and got millions of dollars in incentives from the city to set up shop here.
A spokesperson confirmed Homeland Security Investigations is responding to the plant and that’s all they can say at this time.
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Action News Jax spotted several law enforcement vehicles outside the plant, including ones from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We’ve also seen FBI and local law enforcement agencies and they were at the plant for several hours on Tuesday afternoon.
HSI is the lead agency in the investigation. They are the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure.
Their mission is to investigate, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations that threaten or seek to exploit the customs and immigration laws of the United States.
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We told you a few years ago about how excited city leaders were to bring this Chinese-founded solar panel manufacturing plant to Jacksonville.
JinkoSolar chose Jacksonville for its first manufacturing plant in the U.S. Inside the warehouse, high-speed robots assemble solar panels for homes and businesses.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the city worked for a year-and-a-half to bring Jinko here. The city offered Jinko an incentive deal of $3.4 million from the city with the state pitching in an additional $800,000.
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The facility was expected to create about 200 jobs.
Recently on April 25, the Jacksonville City Council voted to approve a 10-year grant for $2.3 million to expand their facility. This came at the request of Curry. On May 2, it was approved unanimously by the City Council’s Finance Committee.
Action News Jax reached out to JinkoSolar and we have not heard back from them yet. We also reached out to the city of Jacksonville for a statement. They emailed us saying, “Because we were not aware, we cannot comment on this matter.”
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