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Posted at 6:08 PM ET, 10/ 6/2010

FBI’s ‘unprecedented’ Puerto Rico invasion

By Jeff Stein

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."

By Jeff Stein  | October 6, 2010; 6:08 PM ET
Categories:  Intelligence, Justice/FBI, Lawandcourts  
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Jeff I don't know if you read your comments or not but I think you and Ed O'Keefe are the two best reporters at WaPo. Just the news, played straight for a change. Well done. Thanks.

Posted by: screwjob21 | October 6, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Good job FBI. Congratulations.

Posted by: AnnsThought | October 6, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

If the FBI is interested in fighting the drug trade why don't they go down the street and bust the CIA who have been running drugs into the country for the past 30 years. Congress knows about it, the Senate knows about it, anyone in America with any common sense knows about it and the FBI has to know about it. The drug bust in Puerto Rico is just for the news media and the brain dead American public.

Posted by: steveola251c | October 6, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the FBI doesn't know they lost the drug war 35 years ago. They should have sent the 1000 agents to Afghanistan to fight another war they're going to lose in the future.

Posted by: steveola251c | October 6, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Could the Capital of the Free World's newspaper of record please refrain from characterizing police officers as being "licensed to kill" (even as a jokey riff on the column's 007 theme)? Thanks.

Cops have no more "license to kill" than any other citizen. To say otherwise is to legitimize a climate where police can arbitrarily kill with impunity.

Oh, and kudos to the FBI for the massive takedown of crooked cops. Keep at it.

Posted by: vfr2dca | October 6, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

An American was murdered by the Mexican drug cartel just this week on Lake Falcon, Texas.

I guess an American life and our borders just don't rate.

Posted by: joesmithdefend | October 6, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

i agree with the other poster regarding the cia. that is a deeply disturbing organization that even the fbi would rather not fight.

aside from that, what happens with the void that the loss of these officers has caused?

Posted by: jmr12 | October 6, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the FBI agents for not getting killed. Now, last I heard Puerto Rico is a free commonwealth with its own justice system, policemen are also local public servants not US Federal employees.

Posted by: venusita | October 7, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

WOW. Ok. I take that back guys.

Just finished reading the reason for the "invasion." It would have been nice though to find a link here about it.

Posted by: venusita | October 7, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully this is just the starting of a cleaning in the police force in all US. I don't think that Puerto Rido is the only territory of the USA with this kind of mess in the force. Congratulations and keep up the good job.

Posted by: Rose20 | October 7, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Puerto Rico is a long ways from here.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 7, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of a pet chow that I used to have. He was a natural guard dog, never having any formal training. My only complaint was that he didn't seem to mind whose house he guarded. He would stand out in the front yard to let everyone around know that if you breached the property space, you might be at risk. He wasn't aggressive. He was diplomatic. He was also stupid because he would guard my house for a awhile and then go over to my neighbor's house and guard their house for awhile. It didn't occur to him that his loyalty was misplaced.

Should Puerto Rico be provided FBI protection at U.S. expense? Since they are a territory of the U.S., they should be entitled to the same rights and privileges of the other states. But they aren't a state, so they don't have all the rights and privileges of the other states.
And they can't vote in our elections either but they do have to pay taxes to the U.S. The U.S. taxes Puerto Ricans without allowing them representation equal to U.S. citizens residing in the states.

Here's a quiz. Can you think of a country that was once a group of colonies that experienced similar mistreatment as Puerto Rico and, when frustrated by the egregious abuses of the holding nation, declared themselves to be independent of the holding nation and then fought a war with that nation to establish their independence? The colonies then later unified under a common flag, ratified a Constitution, and became the forerunner of what once was considered a bastion of freedom for all throughout the world.


The United States.
So the United States is doing exactly to Puerto Rico what England did to our colonies 200 plus years ago. Why? Because of various Supreme Court decisions and legislative decisions and all the other decisions by our government that, taken together, make absolutely no sense at all because they make absolutely no sense at all. This is what happens when people assume government has any clue or any foundation upon which to function logically. Essentially, government is nothing more than a group of idiots that, quite often, simply wandered into a job and then discovered that no one was watching them work. They could make up rules and no one challenged them. They discovered they could get free money with a good story. They discovered also that they could abuse their power and get away with it. What were they doing? They weren't sure because no one really told them what to do so they could do almost anything they pleased. And they did.

And that's why OUR FBI IS GUARDING PUERTO RICO while the CIA, in cooperation with local police in many major U.S. cities, indirectly distributes more Afghanistan Heroin in the U.S. than any other crime syndicate in the world.

Tell Congress to give Puerto Rican's Statehood.

Tell the FBI to guard your house too.

Start watching government so the FBI doesn't start tapping your phones again.

Only feed your dog when he behaves correctly.

Posted by: CitizenWeeping | October 8, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

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