KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Local pastor and Kalamazoo NAACP Chapter president Rev. Strick Strickland is under a state police investigation.
Michigan State Police troopers searched Strickland's Prairie Avenue home after allegations surfaced that he paid for sex.
Strickland denied the allegations which are the latest in a series of controversies surrounding this community leader.
For several hours Thursday afternoon, M.S.P. detectives removed evidence from inside Strickland's home.
"Everybody wonders what he's doing all the time. I guess now, we know a little something," said neighbor Tisha Williams.
The search warrant was executed based on criminal allegations surrounding criminal sexual conduct and pandering against two individuals. Police say Strickland is under one of two people under investigation accused of paying for sexual acts performed in his home.
Police say two separate victims came forward.
"No charges have been filed at this point, and the search warrant is just a collection of evidence at this time," said Sgt. Melissa Bernum with the Michigan State Police.
Strickland's home is owned by Second Baptist Church where he's a pastor, a church official, who showed up to the scene, refused to comment.
Strickland told Newschannel 3 the allegations are "ludicrous," saying "They are being used to tear down my name and destroy me."
Strickland has come under fire recently after allegations arose that he had an inappropriate relationship with Aniya Mack, a member of his church--- a relationship that her ex-boyfriend Donnovan Lewis told Kalamazoo Public Safety caused him to snap and kill her in June.
Strickland previously said any contact with Mack he had was strictly "professional" and that he was helping her through his ministry, and that Lewis only wanted to discredit him and the church.
Still, neighbors have questions.
"He could have handled himself better. It's really sad because I thought he had Kalamazoo in his best interest," said Williams.
Detectives will continue to investigate this incident until all evidence or leads are investigated thoroughly. The case report will be presented to the Kalamazoo Prosecutor’s Office for an independent review upon completion.