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

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.