Society

Subway Suspends Pitchman Jared Fogle As Police Search His Indiana Home

| by Reuters

Authorities conducted a day-long search inside the Indiana home of Subway sandwich chain pitchman Jared Fogle on Tuesday, two months after the executive director of Fogle's foundation was arrested on federal child pornography charges.

As authorities concluded their search for the day, Subway said it was suspending its relationship with Fogle due to the investigation, which the company said it believed was linked to the probe of a former foundation executive.

"Jared continues to cooperate with authorities and he expects no actions to be forthcoming," Subway said in a statement. "Both Jared and Subway agree that this was the appropriate step to take."

By early evening on Tuesday, promotional references to Fogle had been removed from Subway's website.

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Authorities were observed on Tuesday removing numerous items from Fogle's home, carrying them out in bags, boxes and briefcases. Fogle was present for part of the search, but he left his home in the Zionsville suburb northwest of Indianapolis around midday as the search continued.

Authorities, who first arrived at the home about 6:30 a.m., ultimately pulled out around 5 p.m.

It was not clear whether Fogle, a father of two, is a target of what authorities have said is a joint investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement.

FBI spokeswoman Wendy Osborne declined to comment about the activity at Fogle's home, other than to confirm investigative efforts in the area. She said she could not discuss whether the actions at Fogle's home were connected to the child porn case against Russell Taylor, the former foundation executive.

Fogle's attorney said Fogle has not been detained or arrested or charged "with any crime or offense."

"Jared has been cooperating, and continues to cooperate, with law enforcement in their investigation of unspecified charges and looks forward to its conclusion," attorney Ron Elberger said in a statement.

A neighbor who asked not to be identified by name said Fogle and his family had lived in their home for about four years and generally were very "private."

Fogle became a Subway spokesman after losing a reported 245 pounds (111 kg) in part by eating regularly at the sandwich chain. Fogle made his first Subway commercial in 2000 and appeared in a new one last year, according to Subway.

Along with the FBI, the Indiana State Police assisted the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Indiana in the investigation, according to state police spokesman Sergeant Richard Myers. U.S. Postal Service agents also assisted in the investigation.

Taylor, the Jared Foundation's former executive director, is currently in federal custody facing seven counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He has not yet entered a plea, said his attorney Brad Banks.

Banks would also not comment on the investigation.

Authorities said they found videos they believe Taylor produced by secretly filming minor children at his home. The investigators said they found more than 400 videos of alleged child pornography in his Indianapolis home.

(Reporting by Taylor Carlier in Zionsville and by Suzannah Gonzales, Carey Gillam and Ben Klayman; Editing by Will Dunham and Eric Beech)