The FBI is digging outside the Manchester, Connecticut, home of Robert Gentile, a reputed mobster who the FBI has accused of being linked to long-sought paintings stolen from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.
Officials from the FBI said only that there is “court-authorized activity in connection with an ongoing federal investigation,” but they had no further comment about what is happening at the home on Frances Drive.
"It's like deja vu all over again. It is reminiscent of the second search that they did of the house where they had found guns and drugs," Gentile's attorney, Ryan McGuigan, said on Monday.
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The FBI believes the 80-year-old Gentile, who has a criminal record dating to the 1950s, knows something about the 1990 theft of $500 million in art from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
"I would have to deduce that they're probably looking for evidence from the Gardiner Museum," McGuigan said.
Prosecutors previously said that Gentile told an undercover FBI agent he had access to two paintings and could negotiate their sale for $500,000 each.
Gentile has denied any involvement in the thefts and said he's never possessed any of the paintings.
His lawyer previously said the FBI believes his client has not been forthcoming with everything he knows about the heist and has set him up for arrests twice in the last three years, but his client is not withholding any information.
The 13 pieces of art stolen from the Boston museum have never been found and nobody has been charged in the robbery. The paintings include works by Édouard Manet, Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Govaert Flinck and Edgar Degas.
When McGuigan called his client to tell him about the search, Gentile laughed, McGuigan said.