Whitey Bulger trial focuses on FBI protection of gangster

Published June 14, 2013

BOSTON — A former senior Massachusetts state police officer testified Thursday that some local FBI agents were so consumed with protecting James "Whitey" Bulger that they repeatedly sabotaged state police investigations and even threatened the careers of the detectives pushing them.

In answers to aggressive questions by Bulger's defense team, retired State Police Col. Thomas J. Foley gave the jury hearing Bulger's racketeering trial a glimpse of the lingering animosity the mob boss' long and largely unimpeded criminal career has created among law enforcement.

Foley, whose detectives built the case for which Bulger is being tried, said FBI agents tipped Bulger and his associates to wiretaps, hidden microphones and other measures. Foley said he first suspected the FBI was taking extraordinary steps to protect Bulger and partner Stephen Flemmi because they were secretly working as informants.

Detectives from Connecticut, Florida and Oklahoma investigating four deaths tied to the gang's effort to take over the parimutual business World Jai Alai have said they reached the same conclusion.