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Federal agent sues newspaper, station in connection with botched Waco raid

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Federal agent sues newspaper, station in connection with botched Waco raid 06/28/1994 TEXAS -- The federal agent assigned to infiltrate…

TEXAS — The federal agent assigned to infiltrate the Branch Davidian compound is suing a newspaper, TV station and ambulance service, claiming they tipped off David Koresh about the raid on the compound.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent Robert Rodriguez filed suit in early June in federal court in Waco against the Waco Tribune-Herald, KWTX-TV and American Medical Transport for unspecified damages. In the suit, Rodriguez claims emotional distress and mental anguish.

The lawsuit is the fourth suit connected to the raid filed against the newspaper and the TV station and the second against the ambulance service, The Associated Press reported.

A dispatcher for the ambulance service informed a friend, a cameraman at KWTX, of the ATF’s pending raid, according to the Report of the Treasury Department on the ATF investigation of David Koresh.

Tribune-Herald Editor Bob Lott said ATF leadership and Koresh’s actions, not the newspaper, are to blame for the failed raid, AP reported.

Rick Bostwick, an attorney representing KWTX, said the plaintiff’s attorney’s claims “are fictional and obviously manufactured by the potential for monetary gain,” AP reported.

Rodriguez’s assignment was to enter the compound undercover and befriend Koresh to prepare for the raid, the Treasury Department report said.

The report also said Koresh learned of the raid when a KWTX cameraman who was lost near the compound began a conversation with a mailman whom he did not know was a cult member. After the cameraman tipped him off about the raid, the mailman immediately told Koresh and the others.

(Rodriguez v. Cox Texas Publications, Inc.; Media Counsel: Rick Bostwick, Waco)

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