Lawyer Says British Intelligence Working to Convict Brink’s Priest
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ A Dublin-born priest pleaded innocent Monday to charges he helped steal $7.4 million from a Brink’s Inc. armored car, and his lawyer said British and Irish authorities were meddling in the case.
The Rev. Patrick Moloney, an avowed Irish nationalist, was arraigned on one count of conspiracy and two counts of possession of stolen money. Each count carries a maximim 10-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine.
The charges stem from the Jan. 5, 1993 Brink’s robbery, the fifth-largest holdup of an armored-car company in U.S. history.
More than $5 million is still missing. Investigators suspect the stolen money may have been destined for the Irish Republican Army.
″It’s a political case,″ Moloney’s attorney, Stanley Cohen, told reporters. ″And as is true with all political cases I’ve ever handled, you’re going to find the involvement of lots of little folks who run around - hats tipped down - and do investigations, some of it legal, some of it illegal.″
While declining to specify his sources, Cohen said ″wall-to-wall intelligence resources″ were being marshaled against Moloney, including the CIA, Northern Ireland’s Royal Ulster Constabulary and MI5, the British intelligence service.
The prosecutor, Christopher Buscaglia, would not comment on Cohen’s accusations.
Moloney, a 61-year-old Melkite priest who runs a home for troubled teen- agers in New York City, was allowed to remain free on $1 million bail. U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer set a June 20 trial date.
Investigators say that suitcases of money found Nov. 12 in a New York City apartment tied Moloney and two other men to the heist.
Facing identical charges as Moloney is Samuel Ignatius Millar, 39, a comic book store owner who served at least eight years in prison in Northern Ireland on weapons and explosives charges. He is being held on $1.5 million bail.
Thomas F. O’Connor, 54, a retired Rochester police detective who was working at the Brink’s armored-car depot when it was robbed, is charged with participating in the robbery. He is free on $500,000 bail.