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Robert Sikellis

Robert Sikellis. (Courtesy)
Robert Sikellis. (Courtesy)

As a young prosecutor in the early '90s, Sikellis spearheaded the State Police investigation into a cocaine trafficking ring that operated out of a Dorchester auto body shop called TRC Auto Electric. The shop was managed by crime figure Carmello Merlino. Some believe that Merlino associates, including David Turner and Robert Guarente, were plotting the Gardner heist while the cocaine trafficking probe was underway. In a case prosecuted by Sikellis in 1995, Turner was acquitted of pulling off a late night robbery of Boston’s famed restaurant Cheers. Sikellis says he believes whoever pulled off the Gardner heist had been hired by higher-level criminals and the thieves knew nothing of who masterminded the theft or where the artwork wound up.

— Written by Stephen Kurkjian

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