The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

June 17, 2013

Federal agents search land linked to Hoffa case

Eds: Rewrites first paragraph. Updates with comment from county sheriff and former head of FBI in Detroit. Adds contributing line. Will be updated. AP Video. With AP Photos.

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Federal agents revived the hunt for the remains of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa on Monday as they searched a field in suburban Detroit.

Robert Foley, special agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit division, said the agency and its partners executed a search warrant in Oakland Township, about 25 miles north of Detroit.

Officials are "here to execute a search warrant, based on information that we have involving the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa," Foley said.

He said the warrant is sealed and that details about what was sought would not be released. Foley did not take questions from reporters. Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, who joined Foley during a press conference, said it was his "fondest hope" to bring closure for Hoffa's family and the community.

"This has been one of those kind of open wounds for a long time," Bouchard said.

FBI agents and Oakland County sheriff's deputies worked in the field as the beep of excavating equipment moving in reverse and crickets hidden in the tall grass and weeds could be heard over nearby traffic. The field is surrounded by trees and dirt on three sides and a gravel road runs alongside the fourth.

Hoffa, Teamsters president from 1957-71, was an acquaintance of mobsters and an adversary of federal officials. The day in 1975 when he disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant, he was supposed to be meeting with a New Jersey Teamsters boss and a Detroit Mafia captain.

Since then, multiple leads to his supposed remains have turned out to be red herrings.

In September, police took soil from a suburban backyard after a tip Hoffa had been buried there. It was just one of many fruitless searches. Previous tips led police to a horse farm northwest of Detroit in 2006, a Detroit home in 2004 and a backyard pool two hours north of the city in 2003.

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