“Feds: Bulger at center of murder, mayhem in Boston”

June 12, 2013

KSL.com on June 12, 2013 released the following press release:

By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press

“BOSTON (AP) – A federal prosecutor said in opening statements Wednesday at James “Whitey” Bulger’s racketeering trial that the reputed mobster was at the center of “murder and mayhem” in Boston for almost 30 years, while the defense attacked the credibility of the government’s star witnesses.

Prosecutor Brian Kelly told jurors that Bulger headed the violent Winter Hill Gang that “ran amok” in Boston for nearly three decades, killing 19 people, extorting millions from drug dealers and other criminals, and corrupting police and FBI agents.

“At the center of all this murder and mayhem is one man – the defendant in this case, James Bulger,” Kelly said.

Bulger’s lead attorney, J. W. Carney Jr., went after the prosecution’s star witnesses, including hit man John Martorano, who admitted killing 20 people and has agreed to testify against Bulger.

Martorano served 12 years in prison for his crimes, in what Carney called an “extraordinary benefit” for his cooperation with prosecutors.

“The federal government was so desperate to have John Martorano testify … they basically put their hands up in the air and said take anything you want,” Carney said.

Other once-loyal Bulger cohorts who will likely testify against him include Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, Bulger’s former partner, and Kevin Weeks, a former Bulger lieutenant who led authorities to six bodies.

The government plans to show the jury a 700-page file they say shows that Bulger, while committing a long list of crimes, was also working as an FBI informant, providing information on the New England Mob – his gang’s main rivals – and corrupting FBI agents who ignored his crimes.

Kelly says Bulger’s gang succeeded by instilling fear in other criminals and corrupting law enforcement officials who tipped them off when they were being investigated.

“It was part of a strategy they had, and it worked for them,” Kelly said.

Carney denied that the FBI ever tipped off Bulger.

“James Bulger never ever – the evidence will show – was an informant,” Carney said.

Carney acknowledged that Bulger was involved in illegal gambling and drugs but told the jury that Bulger paid law enforcement to protect him from prosecution.

Bulger, now 83, was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives when he fled Boston in 1994 after receiving a tip from his former FBI handler, John Connolly, that he was about to be indicted. He was finally captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., where he had been living with his longtime girlfriend in a rent-controlled apartment.

Connolly was convicted of racketeering for warning Bulger and later of second-degree murder for giving information to Bulger that led to the slaying of a Boston businessman in Miami.

Bulger’s lawyers have indicated that they will argue that Connolly fabricated informant reports in Bulger’s lengthy FBI file.

The defense may also present another side of Bulger seen by some residents of South Boston, where he was known for years as a kind of harmless tough guy who gave Thanksgiving dinners to his working-class neighbors.

Prosecutors, however, plan to call one family member of each of the 19 people prosecutors allege were killed by Bulger and his gang. Among the victims were two 26-year-old women who Bulger is accused of strangling.

The trial is expected to last three to four months.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Bulger plans to take the stand

August 7, 2012

The Boston Globe on August 7, 2012 released the following:

“He would detail an immunity deal

By Milton J. Valencia
Globe Staff

James “Whitey” Bulger, once America’s most wanted criminal, will for the first time ­address the charges against him, taking the stand in his own defense in hope of convincing a jury that federal officials once granted him immunity for his many crimes, his lawyer said Monday.

J.W. Carney Jr. announced that plan during a hearing in US District Court in Boston. He said Bulger wants to provide a firsthand account of his relationship with the FBI and the deal he had for working secretly as a government informant.

“He is going to tell the truth, if the judge permits him to,” Carney later told reporters outside the federal courthouse.

Bulger’s testimony could further shed light on one of the darkest eras of the FBI, as the gangster would probably describe the crimes he committed, what the FBI knew of them, and whether he received promises for his cooperation, providing a firsthand, real-life account of the type of underworld events that have become the fodder of books and movies.

Carney said that Bulger, a ­fugitive for more than 16 years until his arrest in June 2011, wants to tell his story directly to jurors at his trial, scheduled for March, rather than bring it ­before US District Court Judge Richard Stearns, who is presiding over the case.

Bulger’s lead attorney has questioned whether Stearns, who was head of the criminal division in the US attorney’s ­office in Boston during part of the time Bulger allegedly committed his crimes, would be able to look at the immunity claim impartially.

“Our client believes that he will get fairer consideration on the issue of immunity from a jury than he will from the person who was the head of the criminal bureau of the United States attorney’s office,” Carney said, adding, “I expect that he will get a fair jury and trust that they will see the truth.”

Bulger, a notorious gangster in Boston, had been secretly working as an FBI informant while allegedly carrying out his crimes. He fled shortly before a federal indictment of him came down in January 1995, after ­being tipped off by his corrupt FBI handler, John Connolly, who is now in prison for his role in a murder linked to Bulger.

Later, hearings in US District Court in Boston exposed Bulger’s inappropriate relationship with the FBI, and he was eventually charged with participating in 19 murders. He was discovered and arrested in ­Santa Monica, Calif. in a rent-controlled apartment he had been sharing with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, since 1996.

Family members of some of Bulger’s alleged victims said outside the courthouse Monday that Carney is getting desperate in his representation of the ­notorious gangster, and they questioned how Bulger could believe he had a “license to kill.”

But they also said they look forward to his testimony.

“I want to hear what he has to say,” said Patricia Donahue, whose husband, Michael, was an innocent bystander allegedly gunned down by Bulger in 1982 while giving a friend a ride home.

Whether Bulger will be able to raise an immunity defense before jurors remains an open question, according to legal ­analysts. The courts have established, in the case of Bulger’s longtime cohort, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, that a ­defendant cannot claim immunity offered by a rogue FBI agent.

US District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf made that ruling, which was upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, when Flemmi said he and Bulger were granted ­immunity for passing along information incriminating the Mafia.

But Carney has said that Bulger’s deal was different: The 82-year-old gangster asserts the immunity was granted not by the FBI, but from within the US Department of Justice, which has the authority to make ­immunity agreements.

Carney would not identify the law enforcement official he said granted Bulger’s immunity, saying he will do that at trial. But he has indicated in court ­records that he plans to call as witnesses some of the former law enforcement officials who held leadership positions in the US attorney’s office, such as Stearns and William F. Weld, former governor, who was also a US attorney during a part of the time Bulger allegedly committed his crimes.

Carney also said he would introduce evidence that would impeach the credibility of past statements by former and ­deceased law enforcement officials, such as former US attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan was the US attorney who decided against indicting Bulger and Flemmi in a historic horse race-fixing scheme, though about 20 other gangsters, including associates in their Winter Hill gang, were charged and received lengthy prison sentences.

A.J. Manieri, a Providence-based criminal defense lawyer who has followed the Bulger case and others in organized crime, said the assertion of ­immunity seems to be a question of law that Stearns might have to decide before it reaches jurors. Prosecutors will probably argue that Bulger had no deal of immunity for crimes such as murder, and jurors should not be exposed to the assertion. Manieri said that the judge could exclude testimony that would not be relevant to the charges.

But he also said that Carney will want to show that the agreement came not from a rogue FBI agent, but from within the leadership of the Department of Justice. He said Carney could be successful just in having Stearns take up the legal ­issue because it would settle the question of law. “It’s going to be a bloodbath in there,” he said.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Evidence Reveals James “Whitey” Bulger’s Secret Life on the Run

June 18, 2012

NBCLosAngeles.com on June 16, 2012 released the following:

“The feds release 1,000 pages of evidence in the case of one of America’s most wanted mobsters

By Jason Kandel

A neighbor said the old man would sit up all night peering through binoculars from the third floor of The Princess Eugenia, a three-story building three blocks from a Santa Monica bluff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

A handwritten sign on the apartment door said “Please Do Not Knock” because he slept during the day.

But nearby residents had no idea that the man was really James “Whitey” Bulger, one of most wanted fugitives in the world.

Hundreds of documents and photos released by federal prosecutors Friday offer a detailed look inside the California apartment where Bulger and his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, hid out during 16 years on the run.

In their Santa Monica apartment, investigators found a weekly planner filled with notes on everyday tasks, including laundry, cleaning, picking up prescriptions and going to doctor’s appointments.

But they also found holes in the walls filled with handguns, rifles and cash.

Bulger, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang who was also an FBI informant, fled Boston shortly before he was indicted in early 1995 when a former agent told him he was about to be indicted.

He was one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives until he and longtime girlfriend, Greig, were caught last June in Santa Monica. Bulger was captured 16 years after his run from the law sparked an international manhunt.

He is currently awaiting trial for his alleged role in 19 murders.

Descriptions and photos of the apartment, as well as interviews with people who knew the couple, were among hundreds of documents unsealed by prosecutors Friday, three days after Grieg was sentenced to eight years in prison for helping Bulger during his years as a fugitive.

The documents offer a glimpse into the couple’s life as fugitives.

One photo shows a shelf with a stack of books about gangsters and crime, including several about Bulger himself.

Some of the titles include “G-Men and Gangsters;” “The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger’s Irish Mob,” co-written by Kevin Weeks, Bulger’s former right-hand man; and “A Mob Story” by former Boston Herald reporter Michele McPhee.

But in other parts of the apartment, there are signs of a simple, more pedestrian existence.

The weekly planner contained notes about going to pharmacies — Rite Aid and CVS — and grocery stores, Trader Joe’s and Vons.

Interviews with people who knew them in California — where authorities say they spent most of the 16 years — describe a quiet, older couple who mostly kept to themselves and pretended to be from Chicago.

Joshua Bond, the general manager of the apartment building where they lived, said they were known in the neighborhood as “the old couple that always wore white.”

Bulger, he said, always wore glasses and a hat, and always had a beard.

They called themselves Carol and Charlie Gasko, he said. Bond, who lived next door, said he would sometimes see Bulger through his window sitting up all night with binoculars.

“Bond only ever saw Charlie get mad one time. This was because Bond had startled him. Charlie yelled at him and told him not to startle him again,” a summary of an FBI interview said.

Bond said Bulger gave him several gifts over the years, including a black Stetson cowboy hat, a beard trimmer and workout equipment.

“If Bond had not thought the Gaskos were such a nice old couple, he would have thought that Charlie was trying to get Bond in shape because he (Charlie) was attracted to him (Bond),” the FBI said in its description of the interview.

The photos show holes cut into the apartment walls, where authorities say Bulger hid more than 30 weapons and more than $800,000 in cash.

One photo shows handguns visible inside one hole. Another shows a picture of a crucifix taped to a doorframe above a hole in the wall, where it appears the FBI removed a mirror that was hiding it.

Another shows stacks of cash.

Other photos show the couple’s separate bedrooms. Bulger’s room is cluttered, with an unmade bed, socks strewn on the dresser and crowded shelves. On one of the shelves is a Valentines’ Day card with a picture of a puppy in front of a big red heart. Five pairs of sneakers line the top of a shelf, including four identical white pairs with blue stripes.

Bulger, nicknamed “Whitey” for his shock of bright platinum hair, grew up in a gritty South Boston housing project, and went on to become Boston’s most notorious gangster.

Along with Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, he led the violent Winter Hill Gang, a largely Irish mob that ran loan-sharking, gambling and drug rackets in the Boston area. U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern said in 2000 that the two were “responsible for a reign of intimidation and murder that spanned 25 years.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Chief Judge Rules in Favor of Prosecutors, Says Bulger Must Face Federal Criminal Charges for an Alleged Role in 19 Murders

June 30, 2011

The Boston Globe on June 30, 2011 released the following:

“By Milton J. Valencia, Maria Cramer and John R. Ellement, Globe Staff

US District Court Chief Judge Mark Wolf today handed federal prosecutors their first victory in the James “Whitey” Bulger prosecution and said prosecutors can focus on the case involving the 19 murders Bulger allegedly played a role in committing.

Wolf, ruling from the bench, approved a motion by US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’ office to drop a set of charges filed against Bulger in 1995 and to keep intact a second batch of charges, which include the allegations the 81-year-old reputed gangster participated in 19 killings.

“It is in the public interest that this case be dismissed,” Wolf said. “I find that the US attorney has made a good faith decision to dismiss this case.”

Speaking to a courtroom filled with relatives of Bulger’s alleged victims as well as Bulger’s two brothers, John and William, Wolf said Bulger could have raised the concern when he was first charged. But now, after having spent 16 years on the run, the judge said Bulger should not benefit from being a fugitive.

“Mr. Bulger did not appear to object to alleged judge shopping in 2000. He could have,’’ Wolf said.

The extraordinary case of Bulger had yet another unexpected twist today when authorities used a United States Coast Guard helicopter to transport Bulger from the Plymouth jail to Boston for a court appearance. Since his return to Boston last week, authorities have deployed a caravan of speeding vehicles to bring him to US District Court.

NECN-TV video shows a handcuffed 81-year-old Bulger, in an orange prison uniform, being helped out of the helicopter by a camouflage-clad officer armed with an assault rifle. Bulger, who appears to be wearing ear protectors, crouches a little as he passes under the helicopter’s rotors toward an SUV waiting a short distance away. The alleged vicious gangster stands patiently by the open door of an SUV before being placed in it.

Bulger is in the courthouse for the third time this week for two separate hearings in which lawyers and federal prosecutors will battle over the number of criminal charges Bulger will face and whether the alleged gang leader will get a court-appointed lawyer.

Wolf ‘s decision to throw out the 1995 also ends his personal inovlvement in the prosecution of Bulger and Bulger’s confidant, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, both of whom worked as informants for the FBI while engaging in years of criminal activity, allegedly including some of the 19 murders Bulger is charged with.
“My role in this case is essentially over,’’ Wolf said from the bench.

At the courthouse today, Steven Davis, the brother of Debra Davis, one of Bulger’s 19 alleged murder victims, protested when Bulger’s brothers, John and William, were allowed into the courtroom before anyone else.

The Globe’s Maria Cramer reports that security officials tried to calm Steven Davis, who was thrown out of court proceedings against a Bulger associate in the 1990s when he lost his temper. “It’s his brother. If it was your brother, I’d let youse in, too,’’ a security official told Davis.

In the courtroom, John and William Bulger sat next to each other. James Bulger, wearing the orange uniform of a federal pretrial detainee, winked at his two brothers while waiting for the court hearing to get underway.

From the bench, Wolf said he would unseal a federal affidavit late today that outlines how the government is cracking down on leaks to reporters about what Bulger has said since he was taken into custody. The issue was raised by the defense following a Boston Sunday Globe story reporting that Bulger had told officials that he had gone to Mexico during his years on the run.

Later today, US Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler is slated to hold a hearing to determine whether Bulger cannot afford a lawyer.

Peter Krupp, a provisional attorney for Bulger, argued Wednesday in court documents that prosecutors were “forum shopping’’ when, earlier this week, they moved to dismiss the racketeering charges brought against Bulger in 1995. Prosecutors want to focus instead on charges brought in 2000, which includes allegations that Bulger murdered 19 people.

Krupp argued Wednesday for pursuing both sets of charges at the same time. That would keep the indictments before Wolf, the original judge in the case. The 2000 case was assigned to a different judge.

The defense lawyer accused prosecutors of wanting to drop the 1995 charges as a way to keep the case out of Wolf’s court. He suggested prosecutors wanted to avoid Wolf because of the judge’s thorough examination more than a decade ago of the government’s scandalous dealings with Bulger.

“The government would be allowed to game the system,’’ Krupp said in the court documents. “Having encountered difficult questions from this court in lengthy hearings in the late 1990s, the government chose to have the newest allegations returned in a separate indictment, so that it might be assigned a different docket and drawn to a different judge.’’

Prosecutors responded by saying that Bulger’s call for consolidation of the cases was an attempt to delay his trial on the 19 slayings by bogging down the proceedings. They also said his lawyer lacks the authority to challenge the government’s decision to drop the 1995 case, in which the most serious charge is that Bulger extorted money from bookmakers.

Prosecutors have the support of families of Bulger’s alleged victims, including Thomas Donahue of Dorchester, whose father, Michael, was gunned down, allegedly by Bulger, in 1982. Noting Bulger’s age, Donahue said that the defense tactics could prevent Bulger from standing trial at all.

“As the government tries to push the issue, the defense is just dragging their feet,’’ Donahue said. “If this man dies, everything with him dies as well, and everything that happened to my father dies.’’

Krupp has argued that investigators seized more than $800,000 that they found in Bulger’s apartment after his arrest last week and that they have vowed to seize other assets they find, leaving him incapable of hiring his own lawyer.

But prosecutors say Bulger has the means to pay for an attorney, even if that means getting the financial support of his family, including former state Senate president William M. Bulger.

The ongoing legal wrangling that has occurred in the week following Bulger’s arrest June 22 in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years in hiding shows the complexities of the high-profile, high-stakes case, legal analysts say.

Prosecutors and family members of some of Bulger’s alleged victims say Krupp is doing his own “forum shopping’’ in an attempt to keep the case before Judge Wolf and trying to preserve the original charges. They say he is drawing out the legal process and delaying justice.

Ortiz said in court documents that prosecutors wanted to dismiss the older case because it is weaker. Two key witnesses have died, she said, and prosecuting the case would divert resources from the more serious case.

Responding to Krupp’s motion late yesterday, prosecutors decried “the defendant’s lack of knowledge’’ of the history of the case, saying the 2000 racketeering indictment alleges “a new enterprise and a different pattern of racketeering.’’

“In fact, the only logical explanation for the defendant’s counterintuitive strategy of opposing dismissal and requesting that he be prosecuted for additional offenses is that the defendant is engaging in forum shopping,’’ prosecutors said.

Bulger, a longtime FBI informant, fled just before Christmas 1994 after his former FBI handler, John J. Connolly Jr., warned him that he was about to be indicted. Bulger and his longtime sidekick, Stephen “the Rifleman’’ Flemmi, were indicted in January 1995, along with Francis “Cadillac Frank’’ Salemme, then boss of the New England Mafia, and four other men on racketeering and extortion charges. Bulger, Flemmi, and Salemme were accused of running illegal rackets in Greater Boston and extorting money from bookmakers.

Bulger became the target of a worldwide manhunt. Flemmi tried to get the case dismissed by revealing that he and Bulger were longtime FBI informants who provided the bureau with information about local Mafia leaders, including Salemme.

He argued that their alliance was with the FBI, not with the Mafia.

But the defense backfired. Several of Bulger’s former associates began cooperating with investigators, leading them to secret graves of homicide victims and exposing Bulger’s relationship with the FBI during a series of hearings before Wolf.

The former associates’ assistance led to the 2000 indictment, which charged Bulger and Flemmi with 19 murders. Flemmi pleaded guilty to participating in 10 of those slayings and is serving a life sentence.

The son of William O’Brien, who was gunned down on Morrissey Boulevard in March 1973, said yesterday that prosecutors and the court should focus on the 2000 case.

Billy O’Brien never got to meet his father. He was born four days after the slaying, and he said the trial could help him understand the past.

“I’m just looking for this to get going, so I can put it all behind me,’’ O’Brien said. “I’ve been looking at this for so long. He needs to answer to the 19 murders that he has coming to him. They need to get on to the stuff that really does matter to me and the other victims involved in this case.’’”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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