Three men, including a mafia hitman, have been charged with killing notorious Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger in a West Virginia prison, the Justice Department said.
The indictments against Fotios “Freddy” Geas, Paul J DeCologero, and Sean McKinnon came nearly four years after Bulger’s murder. This raised questions as to why the known “snitch” was placed in the general public rather than in more protective dwellings.
The man was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Bulger was beaten to death at USP Hazelton in October 2018, hours after being transferred from a Florida prison where he was serving a life sentence for 11 counts of murder and other crimes.
Prosecutors allege that Geass and De Cologero punched Bulger in the head multiple times, causing him to die.
The Justice Department also charged Geass, 55, and De Cologero, 48, with aiding in first-degree murder and causing serious injury with assault.
Geass faces another charge of murder by a federal inmate, who is serving a life sentence, and McKinnon, 36, faces another charge of making false statements to federal investigators. increase.
According to law enforcement officials at the time, Geass and De Cologero were identified as suspects soon after Bulger’s death, but were never charged as the investigation dragged on for years.
His family told The Boston Globe that he was held in solitary confinement throughout the investigation.
McKinnon’s mother told the newspaper that her son, who was Geass’ roommate at the time of Bulger’s murder, told her he knew nothing about the murder.
An email seeking comment was sent to lawyers for the Geass and Bulger families. It was not immediately clear if McKinnon and DeCologero had lawyers to comment on their behalf.
Geass remains in Hazelton prison, while De Cologero is held at a separate federal prison facility. McKinnon, who prosecutors say was released under federal supervision when the charges were handed down, was arrested in Florida on Thursday.
Bulger’s family has sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons and 30 unnamed prison system employees over his death, saying a murder gang appears to have been “deliberately driven to his death” in a prison called “Misery Mountain.” claimed.
Bulger was the third inmate to be killed in six months at USP Hazelton, where workers and advocates have long warned of dangerous conditions. A federal judge dismissed the family’s lawsuit in January.
Bulger, who ran a mostly Irish mob in Boston in the 1970s and 80s, served as an FBI informant and was the gang’s chief executive at a time when defeating the Mafia was the FBI’s top priority. exposed rivals.
He later became one of the country’s most wanted fugitives.
Bulger fled Boston in late 1994 after being warned by FBI handler John Connolly Jr. that he would face prosecution. With a $2 million bounty, Bulger became one of the FBI’s “10 Most Wanted” criminals.
After more than 16 years on the run, he was captured in Santa Monica, California at the age of 81. He lived with his longtime girlfriend Katherine Greig in a rent-controlled apartment near the beach.
A prison union official told the Associated Press in 2018 that sending Bulger to a troubled federal prison housing other New England gangsters would be like giving him a “death sentence.” .
His move to Hazelton was driven by disciplinary issues, a federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press in 2018. Officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to release details. In February 2018, Bulger threatened an assistant superintendent of a Florida prison, saying, “Your judgment day will come.”
DeCologero was part of an organized crime gang led by his uncle on the North Shore, Massachusetts, known as the “DeCologero Crew”.
He was found guilty of buying heroin that his uncle used to try to kill a teenage girl he wanted dead.
The heroine did not kill her, so another man broke her neck, dismembered her, and buried her body in the woods, court records say.
Geass was a close associate of the Mafia and acted as an enforcer, but was not an official “made” member as he was Greek, not Italian.
Giass and his brother were arrested in 2011 for their roles in several violent crimes, including the 2003 murder of Genovese crime family boss Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno in Springfield, Massachusetts. was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Prosecutors say another gang ordered Bruno’s death because he was angry with him for talking to the FBI.