FBI agents, a federal terrorism task force and a Houston Hazmat team descended upon a trio of homes linked to a noted area art appraiser on Friday.
The first of three search warrant was executed at around 9 a.m. near Rice Village along the 2000 block of Albans in the Southampton community. The $1.5 million house is owned by Cecily E. Horton, a partner with M.K.G. Art Management, and her husband Andrew E. Schneck, who is believed to be a professor at Texas A&M University.
Two other homes have been raided as well — one on Fall River Road in Memorial and another in the Bryan-College Station area.
Shauna Dunlap, a spokesperson with the FBI, is unable to offer details on why the houses are under investigation. In spite of several accounts to the contrary, she stresses to CultureMap that "no one has been evacuated or asked to shelter in place."
Neighborhood rumors are flying, to say the very least.
"That apparently all got started with DHL reporting some unusual random deliveries to the house," Southampton resident Travis Broesche tells KHOU Ch. 11.
One neighbor reports hearing agents mention the word "bomb," while another says she was told by an FBI agent that the team was investigating an online threat against the government. A source tells the Houston Chronicle that unusual chemical purchases promoted the searches. Several area residents — as well as Horton's partner at M.K.G. Melissa Grobmyer — claim the the search involves Horton and Schneck's college-aged son.
Watch the full KHOU Ch. 11 report: