Author encouraged informant to take Hoffa tip to police - New York News

Author encouraged informant to take Hoffa tip to police

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Police at the site on Florida Street in Roseville (Credit: WJBK) Police at the site on Florida Street in Roseville (Credit: WJBK)
ROSEVILLE, Mich. (WJBK) -

The informant first talked to Dan Moldea back in March and told him he believed the body of Jimmy Hoffa was buried under a driveway in Roseville.  We've also learned more about that informant and his connection to the home.

"The informant is not mobbed up.  He's not connected, per se, but he knows somebody.  He knows somebody who is in that world," said Moldea.

He talked directly to the tipster that has led to the latest Jimmy Hoffa search.

Moldea is the author of "Hoffa Wars" and has been following this case from the start.  He's the one that encouraged the tipster to go to the authorities.

"I know he's scared because this guy is still alive, and I feel badly for him for that, but I did warn him that if this thing went, he was going to get famous very quickly."

The informant claims he saw somebody being put into the ground at the same time the Teamsters boss disappeared.

Moldea claimed initially the FBI ignored the tip, so the man, who wants to stay anonymous, went to Roseville Police, who felt some of his information was credible.

Crews from the DEQ scanned the backyard and discovered an anomaly.  A soil sample will be taken Friday to see if there are human remains.

"It's been our focus since the beginning that it's just a cold case homicide, that possibly a body has been interred there.  We have no idea who, and we're going to attempt to find out," said Roseville Police Chief James Berlin.

We've learned the tipster claims he was in the know because he gambled with the man who lived at and ran a numbers game out of the Florida Street house and that man was connected to Hoffa's associates.

"Allegedly... one of the occupants of the home may have been involved with the Giacalones or Tony Provenzano.  That's all under investigation," Berlin said.

Have police talked to the homeowner at the time?

"No, we have not."

That man, according to the tipster, his alleged bookie, Floyd Varney, who bought the house in 1978.  He denied any knowledge to Fox 2.

"It's just a nice, quiet, little neighborhood.  We were one block from the police station.  I'm surprised someone would want to bury someone in their backyard there," Varney said.

Police doubt it's Jimmy Hoffa because the tipster's timeline doesn't match up.  That was three years after Hoffa disappeared from a Bloomfield Township restaurant.

Macomb County records show it was Franco and Antoinette Ferro who lived in the house from 1973 to 1975.  Mrs. Ferro told us her husband was just the builder and this is the first time they're hearing about any possible connection to the infamous Jimmy Hoffa case.

"I think it's funny.  I don't know.  I mean, you've got the wrong people.  That's all I can say," Antoinette Ferro told us.

Moldea doubts this tip will close the 37-year-old case, but he hasn't given up and he's glad police aren't either.

"If this case is ever going to be solved, it's just going to happen very suddenly, that it's going to come from someone who was not involved in the murder, and it was just going to come out of left field and this guy sort of fits that bill."

Police have been guarding the site 24 hours a day.  The soil sample is expected to be taken on Friday around 10:00 a.m.  We're told it will be sent to Michigan State University to be tested and that should take about two weeks.

We did contact the FBI.  They told us they have no comment and the investigation remains open.

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