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December 6, 2013

FBI denies paying alleged informant for testimony

BOSTON — The Boston FBI office would neither confirm nor deny whether a man murdered in Methuen in October was an informant. A spokesman, however, categorically denied paying anyone for testimony.

Due to FBI policy, Special Agent Greg Comcowich could not answer questions about David Rivera, 28, of Lawrence, who was killed outside a club in Methuen on Oct. 23.

The bureau’s policy is to neither confirm nor deny whether an individual was an informant or whether an individual has received a payment, he said.

“The FBI does not pay anyone in return for testimony,” said Comcowich, the media coordinator at the FBI’s Boston field office.

He did confirm that Lawrence police patrolman Richard Brooks previously worked with an FBI gang task force, and that Brooks is no longer with that task force.

Brooks told The Eagle-Tribune earlier this week that Rivera was an FBI informant around 2007 while Brooks was working for the task force.

Rivera was a witness to a murder on Farnham Street in Lawrence on Oct. 30, 2007, according to court and police documents. He did not want to testify, but was paid $1,000 to testify before a grand jury about the murder, according to Superior Court and Massachusetts State Police documents.

Rivera did testify to the grand jury in 2007, but was barred from testifying in the 2009 trial of Rudy A. Cruz, who was acquitted of the murder charge, because the $1,000 payment was not disclosed, according to court documents and attorneys.

Rivera’s murder, outside the Sahara Club in Methuen early in the morning on Oct. 23, is still under investigation.

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