FBI’s ‘unprecedented’ Puerto Rico invasion
It was more like Normandy than Puerto Rico.
Boarding planes in the middle of the night, hundreds of FBI agents, analysts and examiners flew into Puerto Rico before dawn Wednesday and took down about 130 local police and law enforcement personnel on corruption charges, in what the Justice Department called an “unprecedented” bust.
In all, as many as a thousand FBI personnel took part in Operation Guard Shack, according to FBI and Justice Department officials.
“Agents came from various locations at different times beginning last week and over the weekend,” FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said.
FBI veterans struggled to recall anything remotely comparable to the island-wide raid, which netted 129 of the 133 law enforcement suspects charged with providing protection for drug deals.
Undercover FBI agents conducted 125 drug deals, said federal officials.
In all, 89 law enforcement officers and 44 "others" were arrested, the Justice Department said.
“I can’t think of a criminal case that brought so many resources to bear,” Bresson said.
Equally remarkable, the sweep was carried off without a single FBI casualty -- quite a feat considering most of the agents’ quarry were licensed to kill.
Current and former FBI agents traded digital high-fives as news of the raid spread throughout the day.
One retired FBI official said he warned his old comrades in Puerto Rico "that the most dangerous time might be tonight following what am sure will be a humongous FBI party."
| October 6, 2010; 6:08 PM ET
Categories: Intelligence, Justice/FBI, Lawandcourts
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