Vincent Pergolotti Jr., a Branford resident investigated in connection with the May 21 bombing of the Yale Law School, has been cleared as a suspect, his lawyer said Monday.
Pergolotti, 37, is one of several suspects who have had their residences searched in the months following the bombing. No arrests have been made in the case.
On Aug. 7, FBI agents and state police searched Pergolotti’s trailer. In the last week, the U.S. Attorney’s office sent a letter to Pergolotti’s lawyer, Norman Pattis, allowing some of the seized objects to be returned to Pergolotti.
“I have received a communication from the government, a letter informing me that we can retrieve at least some of the property,” Pattis said. “I take that to mean that he is no longer a suspect, that they have lost interest in him.”
Pergolotti could not be reached for comment.
A pipe bomb exploded in a law school classroom just before Commencement, damaging three rooms but causing no injuries. Authorities do not believe the bombing was an act of international terrorism.
Pergolotti worked for the Law School’s library more than 10 years ago before he was convicted of arson in 1993.
In connection with the bombing, law enforcement officials searched the homes of Pergolotti, Benjamin Johnson — a former employee of Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library — and Norman Yarvin, 32, a former employee of the Yale computer science department. The dorm room of Denis Delja LAW ’02 was also searched. If the FBI no longer suspects Pergolotti in the bombing, as Patten claims, then all suspects whose names have been made public have been cleared of involvement.
FBI spokeswoman Lisa Bull said she was not allowed to comment on the progress of the investigation because of a gag order imposed by the U.S. Attorney’s office. Tom Carson, a public information officer with the U.S. Attorney’s office, said the investigation is ongoing but would not elaborate.
Delja was interviewed by the FBI after investigators discovered firearms in his dorm room when searching the law school. The weapons were returned when it was learned that Delja used the firearms for war reenactments.
Yarvin was investigated after his house was burglarized. Police searching Yarvin’s house noticed that he had piping and gunpowder. Yarvin, who said the gunpowder was used to reload his collection of guns, denied any involvement in the bombing and has not spoken to investigators recently.
Johnson was convicted last year of stealing millions of dollars worth of artifacts from Beinecke Library, where he worked. In June, his parole officer found two passages about explosives in a notebook Johnson kept in his backpack and contacted police. Johnson was released six days later.
Pergolotti’s father, Vincent Pergolotti Sr., expressed frustration that his son has been made a public figure by the investigation.
“It’s been a circus,” he said. “I’m tired of this stuff.”
– The Associated Press contributed to this report