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News breaks out in Pugh’s quiet Ashburton neighborhood

Reporters, TV crews gather outside Pugh’s home as agents work

Catherine Pugh’s attorney, Steven Silverman of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White, speaks to reporters Thursday outside Pugh’s home in Baltimore. (The Daily Record / Tim Curtis)

Catherine Pugh’s attorney Steven Silverman, of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White, speaks to reporters on Thursday April 25, 2019, outside Pugh’s home in Baltimore. (The Daily Record / Tim Curtis)

Agents from the FBI and the IRS executed search warrants at Mayor Catherine Pugh’s two homes Thursday morning, bringing excitement to an otherwise quiet northwest Baltimore neighborhood.

Pugh owns two homes in the city’s Ashburton neighborhood, an area of large homes with green lawns and two-car garages.

At around 7 a.m., FBI and IRS agents raided the mayor’s homes on Dennlyn Road and Ellamont Road. Pugh bought and moved into the Ellamont Road house after becoming mayor.

Around 10 agents took part, working mostly in the Ellamont Road house. Two agents walked between the two homes a couple of times.

Three hours after they arrived, the agents left, carrying boxes of evidence, including several boxes that, according to a label, contained copies of Pugh’s “Healthy Holly” books.

Pugh is inside the Ellamont Road home, her attorney Steven D. Silverman confirmed.

A police officer was stationed outside the home and moved only to prevent reporters from knocking on the door of the white house with green shutters.

While the agents were working, at least one of Pugh’s attorneys, Erin Murphy of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White, arrived and was let in.

After the agents left, Murphy exited the house to retrieve belongings from her car. She then returned to the house, offering only a “no comment” in response to questions from reporters.

A little later, another woman pulled a burgundy Mercedes sedan into the driveway and entered the house. She is believed to be a friend of Pugh’s.

While the FBI and IRS agents were working inside Pugh’s house, neighbors, bystanders and television crews from Baltimore, Washington and farther afield clustered outside.

While the cameras focused on the door of the house, as reporters waited for any sign of activity from the agents or the mayor, neighbors looked on and offered their own commentary.

Many stood in small groups with their dogs across the street. Others walked by with cell phones, taking pictures and live-streaming video.

A group of men could be overheard discussing the state of politics in Baltimore, bemoaning the city’s leadership dating back to Mayor Martin O’Malley. Still, the men expressed hope that Acting Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young could turn things around.

A man named Jeff Davis hung around the television cameras, hoping to glean any tidbits of information as reporters made their live reports.

Later, while the agents were carrying boxes to their cars, Davis shouted, “Boxes, boxes, boxes!” and “Silver bracelets.” After the agents were gone, he occasionally shouted, “Healthy Holly, put your hands up!”

The FBI and IRS agents left around 10 a.m. and the crowd quickly dissipated. By mid-afternoon, the only people keeping watch were reporters and the lone police officer detailed to the house.

But that did not mean interest had dried up. All afternoon, people drove by, slowing to take a peek at the mayor’s house and the cameras lined up in front of it.

At one point a U-Haul vehicle filled with landscaping workers pulled up.

“Is the mayor home?” one asked. “Tell her I say hi.”