Thursday, 16 October 2008

James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, : Boston FBI agent on trial for murder was key to major New England Mafia investigations

Boston FBI agent on trial for murder was key to major New England Mafia investigations because of his skill at recruiting and handling top confidential gangster informants, a former mob prosecutor, now a federal judge, testified Tuesday,’ the Associated Press reports. ‘ Senior U.S. District Judge Edward F. Harrington, who was Boston’s U.S. attorney during the Carter administration, said ex-agent John Connolly’s contributions were “without parallel” in prosecutions that weakened the powerful Patriarca family. That included planting a listening device at the family’s Boston headquarters.’ “ “ John Connolly had great ability and he had a certain flair that attracted a confidence and trust of underworld figures,” said Harrington, the leadoff witness for Connolly’s defense.” ‘ Connolly, 68, was the FBI handler of James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, leaders of Boston’s violent Winter Hill Gang and rivals of the larger Mafia.’ He is now ‘ charged with conspiracy and murder. Prosecutors accuse him of telling Bulger and Flemmi that gambling executive John Callahan might implicate them in an Oklahoma businessman’s slaying.’ Callahan was shot and put into ‘his Cadillac at Miami International Airport in August 1982.’ The man who killed Callahan said he was did indeed do so after Connolly gave him information about Callahan(’s whereabouts).
Callah is currently already serving a 10-year prison term after being found guilty of racketeering. The story is a familiar one for those who watch mafia movies on a regular basis. Especially the movie Donnie Brasko tells the story of an FBI undercover agent who infiltrates in the mafia quite well. Brasko is, in the end, barely able to distance himself from his mafia bodies, and crosses the line on a variety of occasions. The movie was based on a true story; Brasko - or his actual name was: Joseph D. Pistone - is now enrolled in a witness protection program.


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