Local billboard part of FBI’s national campaign seeking tips on Capitol riots

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JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) — The FBI is using billboards to solicit tips following the riots at the U.S. Capitol last week.

One of the billboards is located along Highway 11E in Jonesborough.

The FBI says it has deployed billboards across the country asking the public to call in or submit digital tips. The billboards do not feature any faces or names, just the agency’s phone and online tip lines.

“Following the Capitol riots, agitators left the D.C. area and returned to their home states across the country, as evidenced by the geographic distribution of those already arrested and charged,” Darrell DeBusk, public affairs officer for the FBI’s Knoxville field office, wrote in an email to News Channel 11.

“By using electronic billboards, the FBI is able to reach the public by using a tool that reaches audiences who might not use social and traditional media.”

DeBusk says the FBI has used billboards for more than a decade.

“Nationally, digital billboards have greatly aided the FBI’s investigative efforts and, because of the publicity billboards have afforded our cases for more than 10 years, many fugitives were stopped from further victimizing the public,” DeBusk wrote. “Outdoor advertisers’ willingness to assist in bringing these criminals to justice, as well as the speed in which they are able to publicize crucial public safety information, is a credit to these organizations.”

According to DeBusk, the FBI’s use of digital billboards has led to the capture of 58 people.

The agency is asking anyone with information on last week’s violence at the Capitol to submit tips by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or visitng www.fbi.gov/USCapitol.

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