Three men charged with the 2018 prison murder of James “Whitey” Bulger

BOSTON (AP) — Three men, including a mob hitman, have been charged with the murder of notorious Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger in a West Virginia jail, the Department of Justice announced Thursday. Justice.

The charges against Fotios “Freddy” Geas, Paul J. DeCologero and Sean McKinnon come nearly four years after Bulger’s murder, raising questions about why the known “golden snitch” was placed in the general population instead of more protective housing. The men have been 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 murders and other crimes. Prosecutors allege that Geas and DeCologero repeatedly punched Bulger in the head and caused his death.

The Justice Department also charged Geas and DeCologero with aiding and abetting first-degree murder, as well as assault causing grievous bodily harm. Geas faces a separate charge of murder by a federal inmate serving a life sentence, and McKinnon is separately charged with making false statements to a federal agent.

Geas and DeCologero were identified as suspects shortly after Bulger’s death, according to law enforcement officials at the time, but remained uncharged as the investigation dragged on for years. They have been placed in solitary confinement throughout the investigation, family members told The Boston Globe.

Gaes remains in jail in Hazelton and DeCologero is being held in another federal prison. McKinnon, who prosecutors say was at large on federal supervision when the indictment was handed down, was arrested in Florida on Thursday.

Bulger’s family previously filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and 30 unnamed prison system employees, alleging they failed to protect him. Bulger was the third inmate killed in six months at USP Hazelton, where workers and advocates have long warned of unsafe conditions.

Bulger, who led Boston’s predominantly Irish Mafia in the 1970s and 1980s, served as an FBI informant who exposed his gang’s chief rival at a time when bringing down the Mafia was a top national priority for the FBI. He then became one of the country’s most wanted fugitives.

A prison workers’ union official told The Associated Press in 2018 that sending Bulger to the troubled federal penitentiary that housed other New England mobsters was tantamount to handing him a “death sentence.”

A federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press after Bulger’s death that disciplinary issues prompted Bulger’s transfer to USP Hazelton. The manager insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge details. In February 2018, Bulger threatened an assistant warden at the Florida prison, telling her that “judgment day is coming.”

Bulger fled Boston in late 1994 after his FBI handler John Connolly Jr. warned him he was about to be charged. With a $2 million reward on his head, Bulger became one of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Criminals”.

After more than 16 years on the run, Bulger was captured at age 81 in Santa Monica, Calif., where he was living in a rent-controlled apartment near the beach with his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig.

DeCologero was part of an organized crime gang led by his uncle on the North Shore of Massachusetts called the “DeCologero Crew”.

He was found guilty of purchasing heroin which was used in an attempt to kill a teenage girl whom his uncle wanted to kill because he feared she would “betray the crew to the police”. The heroine didn’t kill her, so another man broke her neck, dismembered her and buried her remains in the woods, according to court records.

Geas was a close Mafia associate and acted as an enforcer, but was not an official “made” member because he is Greek, not Italian.

Geas and his brother were sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for their role in several violent crimes, including the 2003 murder of Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, a Genoese householder in Springfield, Massachusetts. Another mobster ordered Bruno’s murder because he was upset about talking to the FBI, prosecutors said.


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