Audio From Search Warrant Executed At Josh Duggar's Car Dealership In 2019 Played In Court
After authorities executed a search warrant at Josh Duggar's car dealership in 2019, audio from the search was played in court.
During a hearing on Wednesday, December 1, prosecutors played excerpts from a 51-minute interview the reality star gave Homeland Security agents as they searched his car dealership.
Special Agent Gerald Faulkner told the court that Duggar agreed to waive his Miranda rights and spoke to agents during the search, PEOPLE reported. According to Faulker, Duggar was "calm" and had "no visible reaction" after agents arrived with the warrant.
"Mr. Duggar turned in his chair, facing me and Mr. Aycock, and asked, 'Is this about someone downloading child pornography?'" Faulkner said. However, the remark was not captured on audio as the 19 Kids and Counting star made the comment before Special Agent Howard Aycock began recording the encounter.
Duggar reportedly spoke with agents about the personal electronic devices he owned on the property, which included a phone, a Mac laptop and a computer. He said that he used the devices for both work and personal purposes. Duggar said his wife and children had ready access to his phone and laptop and that "the guys at work here are the ones" that use the desktop.
Duggar was asked if he knew what peer-to-peer was and said he was "familiar" with the network and that he knew of something "like a Tor browser" and that they would upload "encrypted" documents for the cars because it was safer.
An agent then told Duggar that Tor was on the dark web and torrents were for peer-to-peer. Duggar said that he was confused and did not know which was which.
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"We had no idea the Tor browser was used in this investigation. Tor makes it difficult to see the IP address," Faulkner told the court, per The Sun. "The dark web is a known source for child porn. Josh using Tor for car photos makes no sense. The dark web is anonymous. The dark web isn’t the best place to sell cars. I never thought to purchase a vehicle on the dark web."
Agents told the former Counting On star that they had arrived to investigate child exploitation. "So is that what you're saying is going on?" Duggar said in the audio. "What is the scope? Is something going on on my devices?"
Duggar was asked at the time if he had noticed anything suspicious before they arrived or if he had a reason to suspect something accidentally happened. "Not at all," he replied in the clip.
Later Duggar told authorities that he was wary of incriminating himself. "I'm not saying that I'm guilty or not," he said in the audio.
The former TLC star was arrested in April and was charged with two counts of recieving and possessing child pornography. He pleaded not guilty.