YouTube's FPSRussia raided by ATF in explosives investigation
Nearly 40 federal agents raided the homes of YouTube's Kyle Myers—better known as FPSRussia—and his father on Tuesday for, of all things, explosives.
U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents along with members of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation raided Myers's home as well as his father Lamar's home in Carnesville, Ga., where the show is filmed, because they believe the gun and explosives enthusiast may be violating a federal law which regulates explosives, Business Insider reported.
Myers has the 20th most popular channel on YouTube with nearly 4 million subscribers where he puts on a fake Russian accent and demonstrate the guns and weapons that he's either acquired or made. He'll often end his videos with an explosion. He claims in his videos that he uses Tannerite, which is a legal explosive that only detonates when shot with a rifle.
Myers wasn't home when the raid occurred, but FPSRussia producer Kitty Wandel said that Myers wouldn't knowingly break the law, noting that Tannerite was commonly used on YouTube and television.
"If it ever came down to doing something outside of our legal boundaries, we would then work with someone who was legally authorized to do it in an approved location," Wandel told Guns.com.
No arrests were made and agents weren't sure if any explosives were seized, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.
ATF spokesman Richard Coes doesn't think that Myers used explosives with "malicious intent," although he noted that Myers blew up items for entertainment. He thinks that Myers violated a law which requires someone to obtain a federal explosives manufacturing license if he uses explosives for a business with his YouTube channel.
"The claim is that [Myers] was using explosives and getting paid for it via YouTube," Coes told the Banner-Herald.
Myers runs advertisements before his videos, which currently have over 500 million total views.
"It's difficult for people to understand how [Myers] makes a living off of a monetized YouTube channel," Wandel added.
Coes wouldn't comment as to whether the raids had anything to do with the death of FPSRussia’s former business manager, Keith Ratliff, who was found dead in Carnesville in January with a single gunshot to the head.