September 12, 1983: The Puerto Rican terrorist group known as the Ejército Popular Boricua (EPB) [Boricua Popular Army] conducted Operation White Eagle. This assault on a Wells Fargo armored car terminal in Hartford, Connecticut, netted the EPB over seven million dollars. After the robbery, Cuban Intelligence covertly sent most of the money and Victor Manuel Gerena – the robbery’s central figure, to Havana. Gerena, a Hartford resident and Wells Fargo employee, escaped arrest, although two years later, 16 other EPB members were apprehended for their role in White Eagle. The FBI said that the others were identified during the course of an estimated 2000 hours of wiretapped conversations, as well as by over 5000 photographs and videotapes generated by physical surveillance against terrorist operations in Puerto Rico. The FBI said that 64 agents in Puerto Rico worked the wiretap portion of the operation. Among those jailed were EPB leaders Juan Segarra Palmer and Filiberto Ojeda Rios, whom prosecutors said was a Cuban Intelligence agent.
Editor’s Note: The EPB is also known as Los Macheteros (“the Machete Wielders”).