Now you know the rest of the story:
FBI in Puerto Rico investigating if corrupt local officials are
'withholding' or 'mishandling' crucial supplies
FBI agents in Puerto Rico have been receiving calls from "across the island"
with residents complaining local officials are "withholding" or
"mishandling" critical FEMA supplies -- with one island official even
accused of stuffing his own car full of goods meant for the suffering
The accusations come in the aftermath of deadly Hurricane Maria, which
devastated the U.S. territory last month.
"The complaints we're hearing is that mayors of local municipalities, or
people associated with their offices, are giving their political supporters
special treatment, goods they're not giving to other people who need them,"
FBI Special Agent Carlos Osorio told Fox News.
Osorio, an agent with the FBI in San Juan, said the bureau was investigating
"The U.S. attorney has made it clear if anyone is caught mishandling FEMA
supplies, they will be prosecuted and could end up facing anywhere from five
to 20 years in prison," Osorio said.
Some of the claims have come by phone and others have poured in over social
media, but the allegations stretch across the island.
Osorio told of one allegation where a party official is accused of pulling
his own car around the back of a government building and driving off after
loading it full of FEMA supplies.
"We're going out and investigating these claims," Osorio said. "We don't
know yet if they're accurate or not...but yes we have received many similar
allegations from people in many different parts of the island."
The allegations of misconduct come amid a pitched back-and-forth between
island officials and President Trump over the federal response to Maria.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, a frequent Trump foil, reportedly accused
Trump on Thursday of "genocide" for not doing more to aid in the relief
Cruz sent the accusation in a text message to Rep. Luis V. Gutirrez, D-Ill.,
who is of Puerto Rican heritage, The Washington Times reported.
Trump on Twitter has accused Cruz of poor management.
"...Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in
Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help..." Trump wrote.
The president raised eyebrows Thursday morning by tweeting that federal
agencies, military officials and first responders couldn't stay "in P.R.
Earlier Thursday, the Daily Caller reported the FBI was aware of
misappropriation allegations in six of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities.
Rosa Emilia Rodriguez, a U.S. federal prosecutor on the island, told a local
Puerto Rican radio station Monday she was investigating officials in the
government -- including mayors -- regarding the misappropriation of
supplies. Rodriguez, however, declined to name the government officials
being looked at.
"Anybody that engaged in that kind of action whether civilian or
representative should be looked at seriously because that's unforgivable,"
Rep. Adriano Espillat, D-N.Y., a member of the Congressional Hispanic
Caucus, told The Daily Caller.