Journal reporters didn’t have to go far to find the news last Thursday morning as Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents raided the Citizens Bank Building on Broadway (where the Journal offices are located) – seemingly focusing on an attorney in the building.
Agents arrived in five or more cars around 9 a.m. Thursday, confirming their identity to the Journal, and then proceeded to the fourth floor of the building, where they began searching, taking pictures and removing records from the office of Attorneys John Molloy and Jay Paul Satin.
The raid came just two days after Revere Police Officer Todd Randall was arrested by the FBI and charged with lying to investigators in relation to a situation where Randall allegedly took money to “fix” cases in Chelsea District Court.
The media contact for the FBI referred all questions to the U.S. Justice Department. A call to that office was not returned in time for this story.
Meanwhile, sources also tell the Journal that the FBI has been to City Hall again over the last two months – checking out records in the Building Department mostly.
And, anecdotally, it seems like the entire city is crawling with FBI agents, though nothing like that can be completely confirmed.
What can be confirmed is that, last Thursday, the Bank building was crawling with FBI personnel.
Agents of various types – including photographers, computer specialists, and records analysts – were all over the attorney’s office and parking lot.
The operation lasted well over eight hours, with agents removing scores of boxes full of paper records and other unidentifiable items. There were at least two vanloads of boxes taken out of the office.
Such comprehensive and time-consuming raids are rarely seen around here and this one sparked numerous theories about what kind of case the FBI could be building – and more importantly – who else might be involved.
There have been more names tossed around the rumor mill than one can even keep up with – bantering about who is next and who isn’t next and if anyone will, indeed, be next.
There is talk that the case might now shift towards Chelsea District Court, though that couldn’t be confirmed as the FBI doesn’t share where or when they plan to conduct investigations.
What is for certain is that the Officer Randall case is not all said and done.
Randall made an initial appearance late last Tuesday afternoon, April 12, and was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond and ordered to hand over his passport.
He is to be back in Federal Court on May 5 for a probable cause hearing.
In the FBI complaint against Randall, agents made it pretty clear that they were working on a larger case, noting that at this point they were only filing charges concerning lying to investigators.
“This affidavit is being submitted for the limited purpose of establishing probable cause to believe that Randall violated [this section of the law],” read the complaint by Federal Agent Michael Carazza. “I have included only those facts I believe to be necessary to make this showing. This affidavit does not include each and every fact known to me concerning this investigation.”
One piece of information that was included in the complaint, but not directly related to the charges, were statements made by Randall that the FBI alleges that they have on video and audio tape.
Those statements involved Randall allegedly asking the FBI’s cooperating informant if he knew of a source to buy large quantities of the prescription drug Percocet – a drug highly sought after and frequently sold on the streets.
“While inside the home of the cooperating informant (CI), Randall accepted $200 in FBI funds from the CI and then explained the efforts he would make to compromise a pending criminal case in Chelsea District Court for a friend of the CI,” read Carazza’s criminal complaint. “Randall also asked the CI if he/she had access to any Percocet pills to which the CI replied that he/she did not. As Randall departed the residence he explained to the CI that he had previously obtained Percocets by the ‘wheelbarrow’ and ’500 at a time,’ but that they were now harder to obtain.”
Nothing has come of those comments, nor has anything at this point come of the raid on the office.
Mayor Tom Ambrosino said that the incident – which is seemingly another black eye for the police force – shouldn’t be seen as representative of the entire department.
“I think overall that department does a very good job notwithstanding the fact they are very understaffed,” said the mayor. “Unfortunately, that’s not going to change very soon. There’s a lot of very good officers on that force.”
Ambrosino, for his part, said that he has never spoken with the FBI and has only heard of all of the activity second-hand.