The Indianapolis-area home of Subway pitchman Jared Fogle was raided by police early this morning in what local TV station WTHR said was part of a child-pornography investigation.
A WTHR reporter at the scene said Fogle was not arrested, but that electronic equipment was removed and taken to a forensics van parked nearby. The reporter, Steve Jefferson, said the 6:30 a.m. raid was led by the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
The Indianapolis Star reported that representatives of the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service were also at the scene. Authorities declined to reveal the nature of the investigation and why materials were taken from Fogle’s home.
Two months ago, the executive director of Fogle’s nonprofit foundation for combatting child obesity was arrested on child-pornography charges. Russell Taylor was charged with producing and possessing child-porn videos. He subsequently attempted suicide but was resuscitated.
Fogle said at the time that he was severing all ties to Taylor.
Fogle sparked a surge in Subway’s sales when he stepped forward in 2000 to reveal that he had trimmed down from 425 pounds by eating Subway sandwiches. He has periodically appeared in Subway commercials since that time, enforcing the chain’s claim of being a healthful alternative to burger concepts.
A scandal involving the highly visible spokesman would be another in a string of recent monumental developments for the nation’s most extensive restaurant chain. Two weeks ago, Subway revealed that co-founder and longtime CEO Fred DeLuca was surrendering day-to-day responsibilities of the chain to his sister, Suzanne Greco, who assumed the position of president.
The concept has been struggling to push beyond the $5 price tag for its subs, touting new premium options priced at $6. Technomic said sales for the privately owned and wholly franchised chain have been slipping.