Agents search offices of Port Authority in Detroit - New York News

Agents search offices of Port Authority in Detroit

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The exterior of the Port Detroit building The exterior of the Port Detroit building
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

Federal agents are investigating after a former Coast Guard petty officer who extorted $35,000 from a person living in the U.S. illegally was hired as security director for the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority.

Agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security searched the Port Authority's downtown headquarters Wednesday. They're looking into allegations Bostic used phony documents to hide his criminal record to gain security access to port facilities across the U.S.

No charges have been filed. Bostic's name was removed from the Port Authority website but his job status is unknown at this time.

Benjamin Bostic's lawyer Brian Legghio says Bostic "has been rehabilitated and is a fine citizen" after serving prison time in the extortion case. Legghio says the government is "trying to make something where no crime exists."

A public relations firm for Port Authority tells Fox 2 it is fully cooperating with investigators, and that board chairman Lewis James will have an official statement Tuesday.

UPDATE: Fox 2 obtained that statement on Tuesday which reads:

In addition to the investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, the board of the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority is conducting their own internal inquiry of the allegations. Mr. Bostic has been put on paid administrative leave pending the board's investigation. We are not sure exactly what the Department of Homeland Security is looking for regarding the seizure of items but we are being cooperative with the investigation.
- Louis James, Chairman of the Board.

Bostic pleaded guilty in 2008 and was sentenced to prison in 2009. His supervised release ended in 2012 and he was hired by the Port Authority in February.

VIDEO: Click the video player above to learn more from Fox 2's Robin Schwartz's report

-The Associated Press contributed to this report

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