Ex-FBI agent details ‘paranoia’ in Boston office at Bulger trial

bulger james whitey bulger boston
Whitey Bulger with a pair of poodles.
Credit: Carney & Bassil

A retired FBI agent told the jury in the James “Whitey” Bugler trial that there was an “aura” of leaks in the Boston FBI office and that cases he was working on were compromised because of the disseminated information. 

Matthew Cronin was the second witness called by Bulger’s defense team Thursday. He worked in the Boston FBI office starting in 1979 and retired in 1999.

Prior to being assigned to Boston, Cronin said he worked in the New York City office. There, the agents cared more about their own work than that of the other agents’. That wasn’t the case in Boston, he said.

“Everyone seemed to be interested in everybody else’s business. You learned pretty quickly to keep your cards close to your vest,” Cronin said.

Cronin said that after one investigation was compromised by a “tremendous leak,” he went to one supervisor and then to the head of the organized crime strike force — prosecutor Jeremiah O’Sullivan. That meeting started with Cronin feeling pleasant, but then he left angry, he said.

“O’Sullivan ordered us out of the office,” Cronin said.

Cronin wasn’t the first witness to testify about the distrust and concern among agents in Boston’s FBI office.

Earlier this week other agents said that there was “paranoia” in the Boston office.

Fred Davis, a supervisor, said on Wednesday that agents in his squad were nervous other agents were leaking information.

The 83-year-old Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011 after 16 years on the run. Bulger fled after corrupt FBI agent John Connolly tipped him off just before his indictment for various crimes including racketeering, extortion and 19 murders.

Also Tuesday, state police Lt. Steve Johnson testified about his interviews with fellow Winter Hill Gang members John Martorano and Stephen Flemmi. The defense team highlighted differences between Johnson’s reports and the mobsters’ testimony during this trial. However, during cross examination, prosecutors made that point that the differences in the statements by Martorano and Flemmi were not concerning Bulger allegedly shooting some of his victims.

The defense will continue to call witnesses Friday.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.