"They didn’t stick around," Meek's neighbor John Antonelli recalled about the federal agents that day. "They took off pretty quickly and headed west on Columbia Pike towards Fairfax County."
An unnamed gas station attendant who works across the street from Meek's apartment building likewise recalled the April raid: "I remember coming to work that morning and seeing a lot of police cars out there. Nobody said anything. I didn’t know what was going on."
Though a search warrant for the raid has not been released, a magistrate from the Eastern District Court of Virginia reportedly signed it the night before. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco also likely authorized the raid, Rolling Stone claimed, since Attorney General Merrick Garland established a new policy requiring the deputy AG to sign off on any seizure of materials belonging to a journalist.
The FBI has not exactly confirmed the raid on Meek. However, it did state that agents had conducted "court-authorized law-enforcement activity" somewhere on the block where Meek's apartment is located and on the day in question. It declined to comment further, citing "an ongoing investigation."
The exact nature of the investigation remains a mystery. Rolling Stone reported that "sources familiar with the matter" claimed that agents had discovered classified material on Meek's laptop.
Meek's attorney Eugene Gorokhov responded to the allegations in a written statement:
"Mr. Meek is unaware of what allegations anonymous sources are making about his possession of classified documents," Gorokhov wrote. "If such documents exist, as claimed, this would be within the scope of his long career as an investigative journalist covering government wrongdoing.
"The allegations in your inquiry are troubling for a different reason: they appear to come from a source inside the government," the statement continued. "It is highly inappropriate, and illegal, for individuals in the government to leak information about an ongoing investigation."
Meeks has not been charged with any crime.
ABC News claimed that after April 27, Meek "resigned very abruptly" from the position he had held for nine years. His social media accounts have not been active since that morning. Neither his former colleagues nor his neighbors have heard from him since the raid, and his family has not responded to requests for comment.
Meeks spent most of his career covering issues related to national security and terrorism. He notably exposed a possible Pentagon cover-up regarding the deaths of four Green Berets in Niger in 2017 and produced a Hulu documentary entitled "3212 Un-Redacted" about the topic. The documentary was released to great fanfare late last year, and many speculated that it would earn an Emmy. However, promotion of the documentary stalled after Meek disappeared, and "3212" eventually failed to earn a nomination.
Brian Epstein, who directed and co-produced "3212," also suddenly dropped out of its promotions, though Rolling Stone has had contact with Epstein.
Meek also abandoned "Operation Pineapple Express: The Incredible Story of a Group of Americans Who Undertook One Last Mission and Honored a Promise in Afghanistan," a book he had been writing along with Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret. After the raid, Meek dropped out of the project, and Simon & Schuster erased his name from the book and all its promotional materials. It was released in August with Mann listed as its sole author.
"[Meek] contacted me in the spring, and was really distraught, and told me that he had some serious personal issues going on and that he needed to withdraw from the project," Mann said. "As a guy who’s a combat veteran who has seen that kind of strain — I don’t know what it was — I honored it. And he went on his way, and I continued on the project."
This is the last tweet posted from Meek's account: