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DEA agents deny they implanted tracking bug in reputed mobster

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) -- Reputed mobster Vincent "Gigi Portalla" Marino for years claimed that surgery to remove a bullet from his buttocks also included an unwelcome addition: a federal tracking device.

After a judge issued an order to reveal the truth, the region's top federal law enforcement official said Tuesday that agents never went that far."We can confirm that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration did not implant a tracking device in defendant Vincent M. Marino's buttocks," U.S. Attorney Donald Stern said in a statement. "But we cannot speak, however, for any extraterrestrial beings. I hope that this will finally put the matter behind us."

Marino had claimed that he was once asked by a DEA agent to sign a form so the government could remove the device from his body.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said the situation "sounds like some DEA agent trying to be funny," but he granted Marino's request to force the government to tell him the truth.

Defense lawyer Robert Sheketoff said Stern's statement probably met the requirements of the order, but he was still skeptical. "The bottom line is if the government did this, I'd be surprised if they admitted it."