Fla. police finish probe into theft of A-Rod docs
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) A Florida police department has completed its investigation into the theft of documents related to baseball’s probe into whether Alex Rodriguez used performance enhancing drugs.
The investigation ended April 11 with charges filed against only a tanning salon employee, who was arrested after police said his DNA was found on a car the documents were stolen out of.
However, the police report said Major League Baseball was given repeated warnings that the records they sought had been stolen and that they were not to purchase them. Still, they did so anyway, the report said. Baseball officials have denied knowingly buying stolen records.
Newsday first reported the results of the probe (http://nwsdy.li/1mO17MU).
The documents were stolen from Porter Fischer’s car. He took them from Biogenesis, the Miami clinic where he worked. The clinic and its owner, Tony Bosch, reportedly provided drugs to Rodriguez and other major league players.
The Biogenesis scandal led to 14 suspensions last summer. Rodriguez, a three-time MVP, was suspended for the entire 2014 season. He filed two lawsuits against MLB over its investigation but later withdrew them. He has denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
Fischer told a Boca Raton police detective that MLB investigators aggressively pursued him for Biogenesis evidence. An MLB attorney offered him $125,000 for the records, according to the police report. Fischer declined, saying ”it was not enough to start a new life.”
However, MLB investigators found another South Florida source willing to sell them the records. Gary L. Jones sold MLB a batch of documents on four USB flash drives in exchange for $100,000, according to the police report. Jones told a Boca Raton detective that MLB knew the documents were stolen.
Boca Raton Police Department spokeswoman Sandra Boonenberg said an investigator ”warned MLB not to purchase the documents” before they were bought. Boonenberg confirmed that information Sunday to The Associated Press.
Baseball officials said they did not knowingly buy stolen Biogenesis records.
”We have stated repeatedly that we had no knowledge that the documents we purchased were stolen,” MLB senior vice president of public relations Pat Courtney told Newsday.
Fischer, meanwhile, had agreed to help the Florida Department of Health build a case against Bosch. He was on his way to deliver the documents to a health department investigator when Jones urged him to stop at a Boca Raton tanning salon to try a new spray.
When he came out of the salon, his car had been broken into and the records were gone.