Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 26, 2005

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI DIRECTOR ASKS FOR INDEPENDENT REVIEW

Washington D.C. - Today, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, in conjunction with Luis Fraticelli, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Puerto Rico, asked Glenn A. Fine, the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Justice, to conduct an independent review of the circumstances surrounding the wounding of an FBI agent and the death of Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Mr. Ojeda Rios was a fugitive wanted in connection with the robbery of an armored truck depot in Connecticut in 1983. He had been sentenced in absentia to 55 years in prison after jumping bond on federal charges stemming from the seven million dollar robbery. At the time of the attempted arrest, FBI agents were acting on a federal arrest warrant issued by a federal judge in Connecticut. Ojeda Rios was a leader of a group, Los Macheteros, that has been linked to a nearly thirty year pattern of terrorist attacks on the island of Puerto Rico.

John Miller, Assistant Director for Public Affairs, said, "The agents were in the process of trying to effect the arrest of a dangerous fugitive. While the agents were serving the arrest warrant, there was an exchange of gunfire and an FBI agent was shot and seriously wounded and Ojeda Rios suffered a fatal wound. Based on the preliminary information available to us, we have every reason to believe the agents acted properly."

With reference to the request for the Inspector General's review, Mr. Miller said, "Since the attempt to capture Ojeda Rios, a number of supporters of Ojeda Rios, as well as some public officials in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and elsewhere, have raised questions and in some instances made allegations about the FBI's handling of the incident. Because of that, by calling in this case for a review by the Inspector General we are demonstrating the highest level of transparency, openness to scrutiny, and confidence in the performance of our agents under fire while trying to carry out their lawful duty."

 

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