Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres has hired former Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Jeremy Wolfe since either late November or early December in relation to the ongoing FBI’s probe against him and several others, Saipan Tribune learned.
Wolfe is currently a private investigator for Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig and his girlfriend, Evelyn Atalig, who are both facing corruption charges.
When asked for his opinion about the importance of hiring a former FBI special agent as a private investigator in a case that is being handled by the FBI, veteran lawyer Michael Dotts said that having a former FBI agent on the defense team can be a big help.
Dotts said the FBI has a way of investigating cases that is much different from how local law enforcement works. Thus having a former FBI agent helping the defense will educate the defense on the methods the FBI uses, he said.
“For example, two or three FBI agents will interview a nervous witness brought into the Horiguchi Building who has no attorney, and they may get answers that are not true,” he said.
The lawyer said agents, who are only human, want to win their cases and they can lead witnesses into giving answers the agents want to hear.
“The interviews are not recorded so you never know what was actually asked or how it was asked,” he said.
Dotts said witnesses, who are humans too, often want to make the agent happy, or are afraid, and will say things they think will help the agents.
Also, the FBI may not have interviewed all the witnesses or gathered all the documents.
“Having a former FBI agent assisting the defense may help the defense find all the evidence so a complete story can be presented at trial,” the lawyer said.
Saipan Tribune tried to obtain comments from the FBI, but FBI Honolulu media coordinator/special agent Jason K. White said the bureau has no comment.
Dotts represents Legend Realty on limited matters, usually on specific real estate transactions and with regard to maintaining their LLC.
A source said the FBI also had sought documents from Dotts’ law office in connection with the ongoing investigation.
The office of Legend Realty in western Garapan was among several offices searched last November by FBI agents.
Other offices searched by the FBI were Torres’ on Capital Hill and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s finance and human resources office at Marina Heights Business Park Building in Puerto Rico, Saipan.
Sources said Torres has also hired New York-based Patrick J. Smith, a former federal prosecutor in the CNMI, as his counsel relating to the ongoing FBI probe.