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Offices of Foes of U.S. Latin Policy Burglarized by FBI, Informant Says

From a Times Staff Writer

A former FBI operative charged Tuesday that federal agents in Dallas burglarized the offices of a group opposed to the Reagan Administration’s policies in Central America and stole documents from the organization.

The informant, Frank Varelli, told several television interviewers that he had infiltrated the group, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, on orders from the FBI. Reagan Administration officials have charged that the committee is a political front for the Marxist guerrillas who are fighting to overthrow El Salvador’s U.S.-backed government.

The FBI said it could not comment on the charges.

Wanted Infiltrator

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“In 1981, I was approached by the FBI because they wanted to recruit somebody that will infiltrate the left-wing groups here in the United States,” Varelli told “CBS News.”

He said FBI agents broke into Bethany House, a Catholic religious community in Dallas, in 1983 or 1984. When asked how he knew of the burglary, Varelli replied: “Because of the documents that they brought back from the break-in.”

More than a dozen groups opposed to the Administration’s Central America policy have reported burglaries of their offices during the last three years. In some of the break-ins, only documents were stolen.

Varelli has sued six FBI agents, charging that they pocketed some of the pay he was owed for his undercover work.

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Lane Bonner, an FBI spokesman, said he could not comment on any of Varelli’s charges because of the lawsuit, but he said that a criminal inquiry is under way.


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