Tags: FBI | investigating | officials | puerto rico | hoarding | supplies

Daily Caller: FBI Probing Reports of Officials in PR Hoarding Supplies

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By    |   Thursday, 12 Oct 2017 03:51 PM

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations that local officials in Puerto Rico have withheld federal emergency supplies in the wake of Hurricane Maria, The Daily Caller News Foundation reports.

"People call us and tell us some misappropriation of some goods and supplies by supposedly politicians, not necessarily mayors, but people that work for the mayors in certain towns," FBI Special Agent Carlos Osorio told the Daily Caller.

"They're supposedly withholding these goods and these supplies and instead of handing them out to people who really need them, [there are claims] that [local officials] are assigning them to their buddies first, people that have voted for them or people that contributed to their campaigns or what not."

Osorio added that the FBI is "looking into these allegations," but that he "cannot say that we have any ongoing investigation. We're just corroborating these allegations."

The allegations claim that local officials simply wait for federal officers to leave after they bring supplies to town centers before handing out the relief to their friends and political allies.

"We'll distribute the [goods and supplies] because we have to follow certain protocols, and that's what [local officials] said they were doing, when they were waiting for federal officials to leave, and the allegations are they are handing [relief] out through back doors and stuff like that to their buddies," Osorio said.

The U.S. federal prosecutor in Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodriguez, said recently that she is looking into claims that officials are withholding relief, and that anyone found doing so would face criminal prosecution.

"We are not going to individualize it. But, anyone who is withholding supplies is in violation of federal and state law," she said Wednesday, according to a translation of what she told El Vocero.

"That has not changed. The (criminal prosecution) remains the same situation. Yesterday there was a government official from a municipality who gave everything he had to deliver very fast and it prevented us from charging him, and I suspect that now there will be many more who do not want to keep the supplies. But, definitely, what we get will be processed."

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations that local officials in Puerto Rico have withheld federal emergency supplies in the wake of Hurricane Maria, The Daily Caller News Foundation reports.
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Thursday, 12 Oct 2017 03:51 PM
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