CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On the day of Patrick Cannon’s arrest, FBI agents seized a gun and a large amount of cash from his home, computers and financial records from his business, and a brown leather suitcase from the mayor’s office, according to search warrants unsealed this week.
The suitcase already is well known. According to an earlier affidavit, an undercover agent posing as a real estate developer took the brown Fossil carrying case to the mayor’s office in February. It contained $20,000 that the agent gave to Cannon in return for talking to investors and promising to influence zoning and building permits, the affidavit says.
Cannon was arrested on public corruption charges on March 26, and resigned from office later that day. He is accused of taking almost $50,000 in cash bribes, a Las Vegas trip and access to a luxury SouthPark apartment over a year-long period leading up to his arrest. The affidavit says the former mayor also solicited an additional $1.25 million bribe during the Feb. 21 meeting in his office.
If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 50 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.
Cannon had been a “primary subject” of a three-year undercover investigation since 2011. Within minutes of his arrest, the FBI swooped down on Cannon’s company, EZ Parking at 312 W. Trade St. Later that day, they also searched his home in Ballantyne.
At 5:15 p.m., they also entered Cannon’s 15th floor offices at the Government Center. According to the unsealed search warrant, they found the Fossil carrying case on the second shelf of a credenza. They also collected a printed Feb. 19 email from writer and political operative Amani Abdul to Cannon’s mayoral scheduler, Peggy Huffman.
At Cannon’s home, where his mother Carmen apparently answered the door, agents found a Glock 10mm handgun and ammunition, and $7,680 in cash. They also seized cell phones, computers, Cannon’s passport, DVDs, bank statements and other financial records.
(In 1994, Cannon, then a city council member, reported that his car had been stolen along with a Glock 10mm semi-automatic handgun that was inside the car. The car was returned, but it was unclear what happened to the gun.)
At EZ Parking, where Cannon’s business partner Jeffrey Feemster accepted the warrant, agents walked out with more computers, tax returns, mayoral campaign financial records, business cards, check stubs, phone message books, among other documents.
Gordon: 704-358-5095 Morrill: 704-358-5059