ST. LOUIS — The FBI searched the local office of the United Auto Workers as well as a local leader's St. Charles home Wednesday, the same day it conducted a search of the national director's Michigan home.

The FBI confirmed their investigators were at the Hazelwood office of UAW Region 5 and the St. Charles home of the Region 5 director Wednesday for "law enforcement purposes". The Associated Press reported UAW President Gary Jones' Michigan home was searched as part of an apparent escalation of a corruption investigation that has netted labor leaders and auto industry officials in recent years.

The FBI also carried out several raids at other locations across the country, including California.

The UAW criticized the search of Gary Jones' home in Canton Township, insisting it has fully cooperated with authorities.

"There was absolutely no need for search warrants to be used by the government today — the UAW has voluntarily responded to every request the government has made throughout the course of its investigation, produced literally hundreds of thousands of documents and other materials to the government, and most importantly, when wrongdoing has been discovered, we have taken strong action to address it," part of the statement said.

Since 2017, eight people have pleaded guilty in an investigation of union officials and Fiat Chrysler executives enriching themselves with money from a job training center in Detroit, the Associated Press reported. The probe appeared to widen two weeks ago when a former UAW official was charged with accepting kickbacks from union vendors.

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