A former FBI agent has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with his testimony at Whitey Bulger’s trial.
Robert Fitzpatrick, a 74-year-old who lives in Cranston, Rhode Island, is alleged to have made false statements to help Bulger’s defense and tried to enhance his own credibility as a former FBI official while testifying for the defense.
Fitzpatrick was an Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the FBI’s Boston field office from 1981-1986 and supervised the agency’s organized crime squad in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
Bulger, who was a criminal kingpin in Boston’s underworld for decades, is perhaps most notorious for corrupting local FBI agents, which allowed him to commit crimes with impunity for years. In the fall of 2013, Bulger was sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms after being convicted of being participating in 11 murders, drug trafficking, racketeering, extortion and money laundering, among other crimes.
Now, a federal grand jury has indicted Fitzpatrick on six counts of perjury and six counts of obstruction of justice. He surrendered himself to U.S. Marshal Service Thursday morning, according to multiple media outlets. The list of Fitzpatrick’s alleged lies and deceptions is lengthy.
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Specifically, federal prosecutors allege Fitzpatrick falsely claimed that he was specifically sent to Boston by the assistant director of the FBI because there were major problems in the office. According to the U.S. Department of Justice that is wrong; he was sent to Boston as a routine reassignment and received no special instructions, according to the feds.
Fitzpatrick also said that Bulger told him he wasn’t an FBI informant. Federal authorities say that too was a lie; they say Bulger never denied he was an informant to Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick, who wrote a book titled “Betrayal, Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought To Bring Him Down,” also stated he tried to close down Bulger as an FBI informant but was overruled FBI headquarters. That never happened either, according to prosecutors.
According to the indictment, he also lied about being demoted because of charges relating to a shooting incident and arresting local mob boss Jerry Angiulo.
Perhaps most bizarrely, Fitzpatrick is alleged to have lied about recovering the rifle that was used to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Fitzpatrick, if found guilty, could face a lengthy prison term. He could be sentenced to a maximum of five years for each of the six perjury counts and a maximum of 10 years for the obstruction of justice counts.
Fitzpatrick’s attorney, Robert Goldstein, told The Boston Globe on Thursday, “Mr. Fitzpatrick adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to challenging the government’s allegations in a courtroom as soon as possible.”