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
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…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

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."

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…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

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

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.