Possible Macheteros office contained FBI info
By MANNY SUAREZ
Of The STAR Staff
Federal authorities declined to confirm reports Wednesday that a thorough list of FBI agents and information on them were found in a small office that could be a "safe house" for the Macheteros terrorist group.
A reliable source, however, said that in addition to the files on agents, the FBI also found documents and diagrams that had apparently been used in the Sabana Seca shooting of Dec. 3,1979, in which two sailors were killed, and the Jan. 12, 1981 guerrilla-style attack on the Muñiz Air National Guard Base in which nine jet fighters were blown up at a loss of $40 million. The Macheteros had claimed responsibility for both attacks.
A rifle and bomb were also reported to have been found in the office.
Authorities confirmed that an extensive list of Commonwealth police officers, including badge numbers and biographical information, was found in the third-floor office of a Puerta de Tierra office building.
Among other items found in the office were stacks of envelopes bearing the return addresses of La Fortaleza, the Commonwealth Justice Department and the Treasury Department.
U.S. Attorney Daniel López Romo said it was too early to determine the importance of the find in relation to Los Macheteros.
"We still do not know what we have found or whose it was," López Romo said in an interview.
He said he had not been informed that material identifying FBI agents had been discovered at the office, but he confirmed seeing material identifying the police agents. An inventory of the material taken by federal agents from the office-- located in the building that houses the well-known Ponce de Leon restaurant, at 210 Ponce de Leon Ave. --includes an entry entitled: "FBI files."
According to a source, the agents found the information on the FBI agents and the police in an extensive microfilm file.
The discovery of the office was reportedly made by a police officer investigating several burglaries in the building.
The source said that when a tenant, Miguel Angel Elvera, called police Monday afternoon to report that his office had been burglarized, policeman Eugenio Colon was sent to investigate.
In additition to Elvira's office, the officer found that all the other offices on the floor had been broken into. When he stepped into Room 302, he found stacks of radical literature, a rifle and what appeared to be a bomb.
Colon called his superiors, who notified the FBI.
Building owner Gonzalo Ardin said he had rented the office three years ago to a woman identifying herself as Delia Carrasquillo, who said she had a business selling encyclopedias.
"When I asked her for her address, she said she had none, that she lived in New York and when she came to the island, she stayed at a hotel. I consulted with my lawyer and he advised me that I should get more than the standard one-month deposit.
"I told her she would have to pay six months in advance. She said that was fine and she gave me a check. That was the last I ever saw of her," said Ardin. "Each month we would slip the bill for the rent under the door and the next day we would find a check under our door without fail.
"We never saw anyone going in and out," Ardin said.
The FBI obtained search warrant and took charge of the investigation.
The Macheteros' first known act was the murder of a police officer, Julio Roman Rodriguez, on Aug. 25, 1978. A news release distributed immediately after the shooting claimed it was carried out in revenge for the deaths at Cerro Maravilla of independentistas Carlos Soto Arriví and Arnaldo Darío Rosado.