Federal authorities searched a Manchester home that belonged to a reputed mobster that is suspected of having a role in the largest art heist in U.S. history.
FBI agents were spotted at the home of Robert Gentile on France Drive around noon.
On Monday, agents were seen with metal detectors and investigators were digging in front and on the side of where Gentile used to live.
The FBI could only say that their activities on Monday were “court-ordered” and part of a federal investigation.
“He was very clear on what was there. That's what he has told me over the past year that he doesn't know anything about the art or he doesn't have the art,” Gentile's attorney Ryan Mcguigan said. “And if he had the art, he certainly would have returned it for the reward a long time ago.”
Mcguigan said nothing will be found on the property.
“They are still convinced that he has more information about the location of the art or the possessors of the art than he's saying,” Mcguigan said.
Gentile is suspected of playing a role in the largest art heist in American history from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The art work included a painting by Rembrandt and according to federal authorities was never recovered.
“It’s 11 paintings and two pieces of art,” Mcguigan said. He added that the art is “worth about a half of a billion dollars. It's probably worth a lot more than that. That was the value in the 1990s.”
Monday, according to Mcguigan, was the third time federal officials have been at the home executing a search warrant. They bought in a metal detector and their investigation has focused on the side and front portions of Gentile's former home.
“It's alike a quiet little area in Manchester and all of a sudden there's just FBI everywhere,” neighbor Brandon Lowery said. “It's kind of kooky.”
Gentile’s son, according to the family attorney, now owns the property. He is currently being held at the Wyatt Detention Center in Rhode Island. He is awaiting a trial in an illegal gun possession case.
“He was very clear on what was there,” Mcguigan said. “That's what he has told me over the past year that he doesn't know anything about the art.”
On Monday, neighbors were shocked to see the FBI in the community.
"It's unbelievable that it's gone on this long," said Jon Brandt.
Authorities have not told Eyewitness News if anything was taken from the home. It’s unclear if they expect to return to the home on Tuesday.
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