Major, shocking news out of Northwest Arkansas today.
Celebrity news outlet TMZ is reporting that former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar has been arrested - by federal agents.
The site reports that Josh was arrested in Washington County on Thursday afternoon, and he is currently being held without bail.
Yes. As of this report, Josh is locked up.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office website does not list the charges he was arrested on, but it is apparently a federal, rather than local case.
U.S. Marshals "assisted" in the arrest, indicating that at least one other agency is involved in whatever he's caught up in.
It's unclear which agency that is, but the Washington County Sheriff's office told Fox News that this is "not our case."
Josh was booked into jail on Thursday at 1:14 p.m.
He was the only Duggar family member arrested.
His address, interestingly, is not listed on the windowless warehouse he and his family infamously live in, but rather the address of another home that Josh’s father Jim Bob owns.
The 33-year-old Josh and his wife, Anna Duggar, are parents of six children together, with another on the way.
While the nature of the charges against him is unknown, it's not hard to piece together some likely theories.
Based on past allegations against Josh, there are more than a few entanglements that could've led to this.
In 2019, a car dealership owned by Josh was raided by agents from the Department of Homeland Security.
The cause of the raid and the results of the ensuing investigation were never disclosed by the family.
However, it was widely assumed that Josh had been hiring undocumented immigrants to work on the lot.
The dealership went out of business shortly thereafter.
Despite rumors that Josh was facing jail time based on the investigation, he and the Duggars collectively seemed to have moved on from the scandal.
Now, however, it looks as though Josh is in some serious legal trouble.
This might be the kind of mess that his wealthy father, Jim Bob Duggar, can't make go away by greasing the right palms.
The fact that Josh is being held without bail is an indicator of the severity of the charges against him.
While it seems that Josh's arrest is related to the 2019 investigation, it's worth noting that there are other possibilities.
Josh has lived a rather scandalous life, and it's possible that he's being held on charges that have nothing to do with his business practices.
In 2015, it was revealed that Josh had molested five young girls - four of whom were his sisters - while he was still in his teens.
It's virtually impossible to even mention his name without this surfacing in many people's mind.
The revelation led to the cancelation of 19 Kids and Counting, but the family - without Josh - returned to TV the following year with the spin-off / reboot entitled Counting On.
Shortly after the molestation scandal surfaced, it got worse.
It was revealed that Josh had tried to cheat on his wife using the affair-facilitating website Ashley Madison.
Despite the attemped infidelity, Josh and Anna Duggar have remained married, and Anna is currently expecting her seventh child.
Fans of the evangelical Duggar clan have noticed that in recent months, the family has been much more secretive than usual.
For reasons that remain unclear, as well.
Events such as weddings and pregnancies that would have previously been milked for free publicity are now being kept under wraps.
Even Anna Duggar's latest pregnancy was kept under wraps for several months.
It was only in her third trimester that the mother of six shared the news with fans.
While we have no way of knowing if the Duggars' decision to step away from the spotlight was in any way related to Josh's legal troubles, the timing of this arrest seems to indicate as much.
In any event, we expect that the family will continue laying low as this scandal unfolds.
Many have noted that Josh appears to be smirking in his mug shot.
He certainly knows that his ultra-conservative parents would not approve of such a flippant attitude toward a serious brush with the law.
But at this point, Josh may simply not care.
The eldest son of a family that became famous for rampant procreation, Josh became a high-powered Washington lobbyist while he was still in his twenties.
Suffice it to say, his career fell apart instantly when the allegations of child molestation surfaced.
Along with his growing family, Josh returned to Arkansas, where his life has consisted of one humiliation after another ever since.
These days Josh and his family live in a windowless shed on property owned by his parents.
The living conditions seem to corroborate rumors that Josh is broke and barely able to support his family.
And while Anna insists they can afford these kids, questions remain regarding the couple's finances/
It seems that the desperate times Josh is experiencing may have driven him to desperate measures.
At this time, specifics about his arrest are hard to come by, and we don't when the charges against Josh will be revealed.
It seems likely that the agency that arrested him will issue a statement as early as this evening.
But one thing is for certain:
This is the latest in a long line of scandals for a family that's built a media empire on their reputation for being wholesome and squeaky-clean.
And once again, it's Jim Bob and Michelle's eldest son - the uncontested black sheep of the family - who's making headlines.
For all the wrong reasons.
THG will be providing updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.
UPDATE, 4/30/21: Josh is charged with two counts of child porn. Follow the link for details.