FBI corruption and Whitey Bulger

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June 23, 2011, 4:59 pm

(NECN: Brian Burnell) - Corruption within the FBI is what helped Whitey Bulger remain on the lam for so many years.

Austin McGuigan was a prosecutor in Connecticut from the early 70's until 1985. He was investigating organized crime attempts to infiltrate the Jai Alai industry in Connecticut and was looking hard at John Callahan, then president of Hartford Jai Alai.

McGuigan recalls,  "We had information that Mr. Callahan was connected to the Winter Hill gang."

Whitey Bulger and Stephen Flemmi's gang. They followed Callahan to a meeting in Boston at the gang's hangout. Then the FBI became aware of the investigation and Callahan suddenly resigned and moved to Florida.

"And we were never able to interview him, depose him or get him into court and then when we went to Florida to interview him he was found dead that day in a car in Miami airport. The day you guys landed. The day we landed."

There was a lot of talk in the law enforcement community then about Bulger's connections but no one seemed to be able to nail it down. Robert Stutman headed up the Boston office of the DEA then and he was looking at Bulger.

"We got a microphone in his car. For two or three days we were getting really good information over it."

Then the FBI was told about the bug.

"And two days later Whitey pulled up to two of our agents on surveillance and handed them the microphone from the car and said, 'Have a good day, guys.' "

Stutman says to this day he regrets telling the FBI about the bug but is thankful Bulger didn't have those agents killed.

Tags: FBI, corruption, Brian Burnell, Whitey Bulger
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