EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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December 3, 2013

Man slain outside Methuen club had been an FBI informant

Lawrence officer who paid him for testimony was on gang task force

The man shot to death outside a Methuen club in October was an FBI informant at about the time he was paid $1,000 by a Lawrence police detective in exchange for grand jury testimony about a murder he witnessed in 2007, according to police.

A 2009 State Police memo identified Lawrence patrolman Richard Brooks as the officer who paid David Rivera, 28, of Farnham Street, Lawrence, $1,000 in exchange for his testimony before a grand jury investigating the shooting death of Daniel Bautista on Oct. 30, 2007.

Rudy A. Cruz, of Lawrence, was indicted and eventually acquitted by a jury in Bautista’s murder.

“He was informant of the FBI,” Brooks said about Rivera in an interview with The Eagle-Tribune yesterday. “I can’t divulge any information. I was on an FBI gang task force.”

Brooks, a Londonderry resident who said he is currently out on leave, said he could not discuss the source of the payment or Rivera’s status as an informant.

Special Agent Greg Comcowich, media coordinator for the FBI Boston field office, said yesterday he would have to investigate the matter before he could comment.

Investigators assigned to Bautista’s murder learned that Rivera, the only direct eyewitness to the shooting, was an informant who had been working with Brooks, according to a memo written by State Police Trooper Robert LaBarge Jr., who was assigned to the detectives unit at the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.

“This information was learned in the early stages of the investigation,” LaBarge wrote.

The memo did not mention the FBI.

Rivera was a reluctant witness, one whom investigators discovered was on Farnham Street when the shooting took place only through other witnesses, LaBarge wrote. When asked to testify, Rivera refused, and went so far as to throw a subpoena to testify before a grand jury on the ground.

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