Federal Agents Mount Widespread Manhunt
NEW YORK (AP) _ Federal drug enforcers mounted their largest manhunt in years Friday, dropping all pending investigations and enlisting FBI aid to find an alleged drug dealer suspected of killing an undercover narcotics agent.
″We are going to get him,″ vowed Robert Stutman, New York chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration. He assigned all 500 agents in his office to the hunt, with assistance from city police and FBI agents nationwide.
″I am ceasing all other investigations in our office,″ the largest in the DEA, Stutman said. ″Every agent will be working on nothing else until we apprehend this suspect.″
The search was for Constible Farace, 28, a paroled killer suspected of firing four gunshots into undercover DEA Agent Everett Hatcher on Tuesday. Hatcher had been trying to infiltrate a mob-run cocaine ring.
″We’ve had leads. We’ve had calls. We’re doing everything we can,″ said Robert Strang, a DEA spokesman. ″Do we think we’re close? We think we are. We’re going to continue to follow these leads until we find him.″
Hatcher, 46, was a 12-year veteran of the DEA in New York and its first agent killed here since 1972. A Vietnam veteran, he was unarmed when he was shot dead in his car in a remote area of Staten Island.
Outside a funeral home in Booton, N.J., Hatcher’s widow, Mary Jane, blamed her husband’s death on casual drug users who keep drug kingpins in business.
″A good man has been taken from us,″ she said, struggling to keep back tears. ″The loss that we feel is exceedingly deep, almost unbearable.″
″Even through the grief and our loss, I must ask the question, who really killed Everett Emerson Hatcher? Who are the ultimate guilty parties who create the market for the poison which he valiantly tried to remove from our society.
″We middle-class suburban Americans. We casual users, we dabblers in drugs, keep the market in drugs an ever-increasing one,″ said Mrs. Hatcher.
Agents assigned to trail Hatcher during his meeting with suspected drug dealers lost contact with him in heavy traffic shortly before finding him dead back at the meeting place.
The Daily News reported that Hatcher bought about five ounces of cocaine from Farace in previous meetings and was negotiating a larger buy. The drug was thought to have been supplied by a Florida distributor.
Among other goals, investigators had been seeking to determine whether reputed mobster Gerard Chilli, allegedly a powerful figure in the Bonanno crime family, was involved in the drug ring.
Farace was paroled in June after serving eight years for a kidnap-murder. His uncle and cousin are reputed to be members of the Colombo organized crime family, the News, New York Post and New York Newsday reported.