Alleged mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger told his brother that he paid federal agents for information, but never supplied it to authorities, which federal prosecutors said undermines his claim of immunity.
The words of Boston’s most notorious crime figures were revealed in a motion filed in court late yesterday by federal prosecutors who are seeking to challenge Bulger’s claim of immunity.
The filing contains a partial transcript of a jailhouse recording between Bulger and his brother.
Prosecutors seeking to have issue of Bulger’s claim that he has immunity resolved before going to trial in june.
In the filing, prosecutors said they want the issue resolved to avoid wasting resources and time of everyone during trial.
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“If the defendant does have immunity, he is entitled not to be tried at all, and the potential jurors should not be made to sit through a three-month trial only to learn there is a legal impediment to the defendant’s prosecution,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.
Bulger’s lawyer, J. W. Carney, Jr., has said repeatedly that Bulger was given immunity by former US Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan and that Bulger will testify about that agreement during his trial. Other than the name of the person who promised immunity and a vague timeframe of the promise, Carney has not offered any other details about the alleged immunity agreement.
Prosecutors point to various reasons why Bulger wouldn’t have immunity, including testimony from FBI agents in previous cases and congressional testimony by O’Sullivan before he died during which he stated he never gave Bulger or his associate immunity.
Also in the filing, prosecutors point to a recorded PlymouthCounty jailhouse conversation from September in which Bulger was speaking to his brother Jack:
JAMES: I’m up to my f------ ears in it. But again, I mean, I was accused -- I -- I never, I didn’t know that f------ John Connolly wrote all those reports and the other guy -- what they did is they wrote reports making themself look like Whitey told us what – I never told them a f------ thing.
JAMES: I bought f------ information, I didn’t sell it.
JAMES: I never game them f------ information. Nothin’. Nothin’.
Prosecutors said the conversation about Bulger paying for information rather than supplying it in return for immunity, as well as his flight from authorities, undermines his claim.
“Someone who thought he had immunity would not become a fugitive for 16 years, alter his physical appearance, assume numerous alternate identities, and stash over 20 weapons and approximately $800,000 in cash in a secret hide in his apartment,” prosecutors wrote in their filing.
Bulger was caught in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years on the run when Connolly tipped off his associates about the forthcoming indictments.