TPS E47: FBI Agent Dave Nadolski – Loomis Fargo Heist Sting – Thingspolicesee

TPS E47: FBI Agent Dave Nadolski – Loomis Fargo Heist Sting

In this episode Steve interviews retired FBI agent David Nadolski.  Dave ended his career in the Boston office where he, with the help of an informant, executed the biggest sting operation of his career.  Listen to Dave give his riveting account of the Loomis Fargo heist sting!!  Dave is in the process of publishing a book based on the sting. Keep you eyes open for “Bird-dog” coming soon!

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This is a true crime story written by a retired FBI agent. In November, 1996 Special Agent David T. Nadolski, assigned to the Violent Crimes and Major Offender’s squad of the Boston office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was contacted by Anthony Romano, an inmate at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Concord, Massachusetts. Agent Nadolski, who did not know Romano, was investigating the theft of four priceless manuscripts stolen during a break-in at the personal library of President John Quincy Adams, located on the Adams homestead in Quincy, Massachusetts. One of the manuscripts was the Mendi Bible, bestowed upon John Quincy Adams by grateful members of the African Mendi Tribe who President Adams successfully defended before the United States Supreme Court.  The Mendi tribesmen were charged with mutiny when they overpowered the crew of the slave ship Amistad which was transporting them from Cuba to the slave market in the United States. The tribesmen were subsequently caught and imprisoned in the United States. This story was the basis of the movie, “Amistad,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Matthew McConaughey. Romano offered agent Nadolski information, specifically, the identity of the perpetrator of the theft.  This information led agent Nadolski to the successful arrest and conviction of Kevin Gildea for committing the theft. Additionally agent Nadolski located and recovered the manuscripts and returned them to the John Quincy Adams library. 

Due to the assistance provided by Romano, agent Nadolski maintained contact with him throughout the remainder of his incarceration and after his release from prison. Eventually Romano provided Agent Nadolski with information regarding a crime in the planning stages. This particular planned crime dwarfed the Adams burglary as it was being planned by a violent criminal gang. This crime involved the takeover of an armored car company money vault containing tens of millions of dollars in cash. Romano had been recruited by Carmello Merlino, a career criminal and leader of the gang. Merlino and Romano had served time together in numerous Massachusetts prisons. Merlino believed he had a loyal and willing lieutenant who was fully prepared to participate in the robbery of the Loomis Fargo vault facility located south of Boston.  In fact, Romano was no longer interested in pursuing a criminal career and had decided to change sides and establish a partnership with agent Nadolski instead.

This book chronicles the formation of this unlikely alliance by following agent Nadolski from his years as a police officer in Michigan to his subsequent career as an FBI agent in Boston. Anthony Romano’s life as a heroin addicted Boston youth, armed robber and prison inmate parallels agent Nadolski’s law enforcement career. The two stories blend together with the Adams Library theft and eventually Romano becomes Nadolski’s inside informant who, at great personal risk, agrees to “wear a wire” to record the planning meetings of the murderous Merlino gang. The book culminates with the spectacular take down of the heavily armed and dangerous Merlino gang by the FBI, as they set out to commit the robbery during the early morning of Sunday, February 7, 1999.

The book is a fascinating story about a highly successful criminal investigation and undercover sting operation, but it is an equally intriguing story about two men from totally different backgrounds who joined together to foil the criminal plot. Both men were forced to trust  one another unconditionally. While agent Nadolski risked his career, Anthony Romano literally risked his life.

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