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Jimmy Hoffa: Federal Agents Search Land Linked to Hoffa Case
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Thread: Jimmy Hoffa: Federal Agents Search Land Linked to Hoffa Case

  1. #1
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JimKay's Avatar
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    Jun 2013

    Jimmy Hoffa: Federal Agents Search Land Linked to Hoffa Case

    Federal agents revived the hunt for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa on Monday, bringing excavation equipment to a field in suburban Detroit where a reputed Mafia captain says the Teamsters boss' body was buried.

    Robert Foley, special agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit division, said the agency and its partners had a search warrant allowing them to dig at the property in Oakland Township, about 25 miles north of Detroit.

    Officials are "here to execute a search warrant, based on information that we have involving the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa," Foley said.

    He said the warrant was sealed and details about what was sought would not be released.

    Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, who joined Foley at a news conference, said it was his "fondest hope" to bring closure for Hoffa's family and the community.

    Hoffa, Teamsters president from 1957-71, was an acquaintance of mobsters and an adversary of federal officials. The day in 1975 when he disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant, he was supposed to be meeting with a New Jersey Teamsters boss and a Detroit Mafia captain.

    Since then, multiple leads to his remains have turned out to be red herrings.

    In September, police took soil from a suburban backyard after a tip Hoffa had been buried there. It was just one of many fruitless searches. Previous tips led police to a horse farm northwest of Detroit in 2006, a Detroit home in 2004 and a backyard pool two hours north of the city in 2003.
    Hoffa Search.JPEG

    In February, reputed Mafia captain Tony Zerilli told Detroit TV station WDIV that he knew where Hoffa was buried and that the FBI had enough information for a search warrant to dig at the site. He said he answered every question from agents and prosecutors, and had been promoting a book, "Hoffa Found."

    Foley did not mention Zerilli's claims in his brief comments Monday, but Zerilli's lawyer, David Chasnick, said his client was "thrilled" that investigators were acting on the information.

    "Hoffa's body is somewhere in that field, no doubt about it," Chasnick said. He said his client wasn't making any public comments.

    Chesnick said Zerilli told him there used to be a barn in the field, and that Hoffa's body was buried beneath a concrete slab inside the barn.

    Zerilli was convicted of organized crime and was in prison when Hoffa disappeared. But he told New York TV station WNBC in January that he was informed about Hoffa's whereabouts after his release.

    Andrew Arena, who was head of the FBI in Detroit until he retired in 2012, said Zerilli "he would have been in a position to have been told" where Hoffa was buried.

    "I still don't know if this was a guess on his part. I don't know if he was actually brought here by the Detroit (mob) family," Arena said. "It's his position as the reputed underboss. That's the significance."

    Keith Corbett, a former federal prosecutor in Detroit who was active in Mafia prosecutions touching on the Hoffa case, said it was appropriate for the FBI to act on Zerilli's assertions.

    "You have a witness who is in a position to know, who says he has specific information," Corbett said. "The bureau has left no stone unturned."

    Corbett also defended authorities for repeatedly spending time on what turned out to be dead ends.

    "Anytime you look for somebody and don't find the body it is embarrassing," Corbett said. "The thing the public isn't aware of, but police know, is there are a lot of dead ends in an investigation."


  2. #2
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JimKay's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    FBI ending latest search for Jimmy Hoffa at Oakland Township field

    By: WXYZ.com Web Staff

    OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - The FBI says they are ending the search at an Oakland Township filed after finding no evidence that the body of Jimmy Hoffa is at the location.

    Agents spent the morning searching the Oakland Township field for the body of former Teamsters boss. This was the third day of the search.

    As of Tuesday afternoon, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said that, while animal bones have been located, no human remains have been found. He also says that no physical evidence has been gathered for lab testing.

    Bouchard also says they have moved the search to another area that is consistent with the tip from Anthony Joseph Zerilli.

    The search started early Monday morning– crime scene tape marking the spot where FBI agents were soon using shovels to dig into the earth.

    They were looking for the remains of Hoffa - the legendary former Teamsters president who vanished nearly 38 years ago.

    By mid-day Monday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley was only able to confirm his agents were executing a search warrant related to the disappearance of Hoffa.

    “Because this investigation is an open investigation and because the search warrant is sealed, I will not be able to provide any additional details regarding our activity here this morning. However if information does become available, to the extent that we can share it, we certainly will,” said Foley.

    The property on Buell Road near Adams in Oakland Township once belonged to suspected mob boss Jack Tocco.

    Hoffa was last known to be meeting with mafia members at a restaurant in Bloomfield Township.

    After years of dead ends, the feds finally have a new lead in the form of Zerilli, who says Hoffa was bound and gagged, hit over the head with a shovel, and then buried alive on the Tocco land.

    “No doubt about it. There used to be a barn in the field. Buried under the barn under a cement slab. And that’s where our understanding is where the body should be,” said attorney David Chasnick, who spoke on behalf of Zerilli Monday.

    On Tuesday, Bouchard said the new area the search is focusing on includes a piece of concrete. However, he would not say if the concrete was part of a barn floor or made to cover Hoffa's body.

    A cadaver dog was brought in to search the area, but, according to Bouchard, the dog did not yield any conclusive results.

    Zerilli was in prison at the time of Hoffa’s disappearance but Federal agents say he was once second in command of the Detroit mob.

    “This is a man that would be in the know. This is not some random guy who said ‘oh, I think he’s buried there. This was a person intimately involved with some of the players who would be well informed as to where the body would be placed,” said Chasnick.

    Zerilli alleges in his manuscript that Hoffa’s killers intended to move his body later to Rogers City, MI, but never had the chance due to the media frenzy that surrounded his disappearance.

    Chasnick says Zerilli has met with the FBI but he has not taken a polygraph.

    Neighbors and law enforcement alike are hoping Hoffa’s family will finally learn the truth.

    “It’s my fondest hope to give closure not just to the Hoffa family but also to the community. To stop tearing that scab off with every new lead, and bring some conclusion -- it’s long overdue,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.

    Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies and officials from the Bloomfield Township Police Department were also onsite at the dig.

    “I just wish it would be put to rest for the family,” said Sharon McKay, who lives near the site where the agents are searching.

    Bill Laatz, who owns property near Buell Road, provided aerial photographs to 7 Action News. The photos were taken in 1990, and cleary show a barn near an old farmhouse on the property that’s now being searched. While neighbors say Tocco owned the 45 acres along Buell Road for years – he never lived there.

    “Do you remember the barn that used to be on the property?” asked 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo.

    “Oh yes, I used to have my pigs in there,” said Bob Galler.

    Galler says he used to work on the farm years before Tocco purchased the land in 1972.

    “The only place that was dirt floor in that barn was where he kept the work horses – he farmed the horses… But the rest was all cement.. They raised all sorts of animals. So they’ll probably find all sorts of bones – I remember the goats. Llamas. Cows Chickens Pig sheep,” said Galler and his wife Marian.

    They hope this Hoffa search finally brings peace for his family.

    “Let’s hope it’s worthwhile this time. They’ve had so many false leads let’s hope this one is a good lead,” said Galler.

    On Tuesday Bouchard said that, given the area the FBI wants to search, this new effort to find Hoffa could last through Thursday. However, it now appears as if the search is wrapping up before that.


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