Surveillance, weapons cache displayed in day two of Bulger trial - New York News

Surveillance, weapons cache displayed in day two of Bulger trial

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – While the government displayed dozens of weapons investigators say belonged to James "Whitey" Bulger and his associates, the defense focused their attention on the relationship and potential difficulties two retired Mass. State Police officials had with federal officials during the second day of Bulger's trial.

The first two government witnesses were retired Mass. State Police officials who investigated the reputed mob boss during the 1980s.

Retired Mass. State Police Det. Bob Long, the first government witness called in the trial, continued his testimony after closing out the first day.

Long continued to watch videos from his surveillance operations at a Lancaster Street garage and a bank of phone booths off the southeast expressway in the spring of 1980.

During testimony, Long said he witnessed Arthur "Bucky" Barrett at the Lancaster Street garage after the Depositor's Trust robbery along with Bulger and Flemmi.

Barrett, who had a reputation as an expert safecracker, was said to be involved in the robbery. Investigators allege Bulger and Flemmi tortured Barrett inside a South Boston home before killing and burying him in the cellar. They reportedly wanted a cut of Barrett's money from the bank robbery. A former Bulger associate claims Barrett's body was moved to a Dorchester grave site when the house was to be sold.

Long also watched video of the phone booths where investigators conducted surveillance in the spring of 1980. Video showed both Bulger and Flemmi at the phones. As long pointed out during cross-examination, he received approval for wiretapping in the case, but the wiretap was compromised "within days" at the Lancaster Street garage.

A sidebar was taken during cross-examination when Bulger's attorney, J.W. Carney, asked Long if he interacted with former U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O'Sullivan during his request for a wiretap. The prosecution objected, which prompted the sidebar.

Bulger claims O'Sullivan gave him immunity for his crimes. The immunity defense was thrown out by Judge Denise Casper prior to the trial.

Retired Mass. State Police Colonel Thomas Foley was the second witness called by the government. The government focused predominantly on Foley's time with the Special Services division from 1984 to 1989.

Foley explained that he was charged with investigating spinoff cases that came from the FBI wiretap of the Angiulo family. He was responsible for probing other cases of interest that came up during the wiretap.

The retired colonel said he also investigated the "fill-in" leadership of the Angiulo family, which resulted in their arrest. When they were arrested, Foley says there was a vacuum of power and two crime organizations: La Cosa Nostra and the Winter Hill Gang. He added that they made money from extortion, bookmaking, loan sharking, drugs, and murder.

Foley said investigators took aim at the bookmakers, hoping that they would lead them to the higher ups. One of the bookies Foley investigated was part of the 1993 indictment of Bulger, John Martorano, Steve Flemmi, and Frank Salemme.

The retired Mass. State Police official went on to discuss how John Martorano and Kevin Weeks began cooperating. He said Martorano's cooperation gave investigators the ability to charge others in several murders.

Foley also went over images of guns and weapons recovered from four locations in South Boston, Somerville, and Florida.

The first cache was found behind a false wall inside a screen house behind Mary Flemmi's East Third Street home. Mary is Steve Flemmi's mother who lived adjacent to Bulger's brother, William.

The weapons cache, which investigators were told about by Weeks, included brass knuckles, a rack of guns, ammunition, gun silencers, a handgun, and what appeared to be a blue police light.

The prosecution also had Foley review several weapons and masks found buried in Somerville. They included M-1 shotguns, rifles, and at least one machine gun. One of Flemmi's sons led investigators to the burial site, as well as a storage facility outside of Orlando, Fla. where more weapons were found.

Foley went on to explain items recovered at 732 East Sixth Street in South Boston. Investigators seized a Boston Police Department badge, automatic machine guns, and illegal double-edged knives.

During cross-examination, the defense asked Foley whether or not he found weapons and masks in Bulger's home. Foley said no. He also said none of the weapons displayed in court tested positive for Bulger's DNA or fingerprints.

The defense also asked Foley several questions about wiretaps and investigations believed to be interfered with by FBI agents. Foley admitted he felt the FBI undermined his investigations at times and that he complained to the U.S. attorney about a Department of Justice worker whose handling of one organized crime indictment he questioned.

The defense went on to question Foley's comments during FBI agent John Connolly's trial about the information Martorano gave investigators. They claimed Foley previously said Martorano was not willing to testify against former Winter Hill Gang leader Howie Winter and Bulger associate Patrick Nee "at that time" for their alleged role in any of the murders he was accused of committing. Foley pointed out he said "at this time" and that doesn't mean he wasn't going to.

The defense asked several questions about the government's failure to indict Winter and Nee. Foley responded by saying he handed the information he had to the proper authorities and also said that if his people followed every lead that "this case would have suffered for it."

Foley was also asked about "small favors" he would do for Martorano while he was in police custody. He said he "wouldn't classify them as small favors." The defense then referred to the book Foley wrote about his time investigating organized crime. They discussed one point in the book where Foley describes taking Martorano to his own dentist while in custody. Foley says he took him so the interrogation could continue.

In the book, Foley is quoted as joking about Martorano with the dentist, saying that the former hitman was up from Florida and probably killed 30 to 40 people. He then is quoted as saying, "But you filled that cavity, right?"

Foley said the quote was from his ghostwriter and that he did not say that to the dentist.

Prosecutors asked Foley more questions when the defense was finished. They asked if Martorano was allowed to withhold information during the investigation and Foley said no. He also said that Martorano gave information about Nee and Winter and that the statute of limitations on racketeering charges was running out. When asked if Winter or Nee could be charged federally, Foley said "no."

The prosecution also asked about whether or not the defendant, Bulger, was an informant. Foley said yes and he was told that by the FBI. Bulger denies having ever been an informant.

The third day of testimony is scheduled for Friday.

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