Saturday, April 18, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: FBI is Anti-Gentile

Sorry I'm not wedded to this post:

"Man eyed by Gardner heist investigators arrested again" by Sean P. Murphy and Martin Finucane Globe Staff  April 17, 2015

A Connecticut organized crime figure earlier identified by the FBI as a “person of interest” in the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist recently talked about selling the stolen paintings to an undercover FBI agent, a government lawyer said in court Friday.

The assertion that Robert V. Gentile, who has a long criminal record, was attempting to negotiate the sale of the paintings came after Gentile was arrested Friday morning on unrelated gun charges while on supervised release from an earlier prison sentence. Gentile reportedly made the revelation during a conversation with an undercover agent within the last several months.

“The government alleges that the defendant negotiated the sale of paintings, which had been stolen from the Gardner Museum, with an undercover FBI agent,” Assistant US Attorney John H. Durham said during a Friday afternoon court hearing, according to a statement released by the US Attorney’s office in Connecticut.

No further details were available from the US Attorney’s office.

At the conclusion of the hearing in US District Court in Hartford, Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith ordered the 78-year-old Gentile held in custody, pending a continuation of the hearing Monday morning.

Gentile’s lawyer said Gentile has previously falsely claimed knowledge of the sensational art theft and said law enforcement authorities are “squeezing” him with the latest arrest to try to obtain information from him.

The lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, said in an interview Friday that Gentile knows nothing about the paintings.

“He’s never seen the paintings, nor does he have any idea as to the whereabouts of the paintings,” McGuigan said.

McGuigan said Gentile would have struck a deal for leniency in his earlier criminal case and for a chance at reward money if he had known anything about the stolen artwork.

He said Gentile’s arrest Friday was another effort by law enforcement to force him to reveal information that he does not have about the heist, one of the most notorious in the history of the art world. 

This is what the FBI does. Now sign the statement!

Robbers stole several masterpieces from the Gardner Museum on March 18, 1990. The crime has stumped investigators for 25 years....

He is the last “person of interest” in the case, and I've lost all mine.