NBC 10 I-Team: FBI files shed new light on Operation Plunder Dome

Providence Mayor Vincent Cianci Jr., walks from his residence at the Biltmore Hotel to the Federal Court House passing in front of City Hall Wednesday, April 17, 2002 in Providence, R.I. The mayor and five others were indicted last April on charges that include racketeering, bribery and extortion. Jury selection in the case against Cianci and three others begins Wednesday. The 60-year-old Cianci is the longest-serving big city mayor in America and among the most popular political figures in state history. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

The NBC 10 I-Team received a fresh batch of recently released FBI files on former Providence Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr., detailing the feds long-running investigation Operation Plunder Dome, which eventually led to Cianci's imprisonment.

This is the second batch of files the FBI has sent the NBC 10 I-Team, following a public records request.

"To date, this investigation has uncovered overwhelming evidence that widespread corruption exists within the City of Providence," wrote an FBI agent in April 1999.

Interesting tidbits of the probe are scattered in pages of the documents, some merely allegations. One detail alleged Cianci and a person whose name is redacted "conspired to extort bribes in the form of paid expenses for Cianci’s 50-foot boat Nicola in return for liquor licenses," according to the file.

The FBI interviewed more than 500 people and a federal grand jury issued more than 200 subpoenas during the Plunder Dome investigation.

In September 2002, an FBI agent wrote, "Now that the systemically corrupt racketeering enterprise that has been led by former Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, Jr. for the past twenty years had now been completely dismantled by the FBI, captioned matter is considered ‘Closed’ by the Boston Division."

Operation Plunder Dome led to the 2002 conviction of Cianci on a single racketeering conspiracy charge. The former mayor served 64 months in federal prison. Several other City Hall employees also served federal prison time.

Cianci died in 2016.

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