Tags: Former | FBI | Agent | Guilty | Corruption

Former FBI Agent Guilty of Corruption

Tuesday, 28 May 2002 12:00 AM

The jury deliberated 13 hours over two days before deciding John J. Connolly Jr. had been corrupted by top Boston gang bosses he recruited as informants. He was also convicted of making false statements.

The jury did find him not guilty of some racketeering and obstruction-of-justice counts in the indictments.

Connolly, 61, remained free on $200,000 bail pending sentencing on Aug. 7.

Connolly had little to say to the media as he left the federal courthouse with his wife and three young sons, who have accompanied him to court during the trial.

The government had alleged Connolly, in the 1970s, '80s and '90s, took bribes and in turn passed on FBI insider information to James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, the leaders of the mostly Irish Winter Hill Gang in south Boston.

Connolly insisted he was just following supervisors' orders to allow the informants to continue criminal activities to get information from them that could be used in the agency's efforts to put members of the rival Italian Mafia in prison.

Federal prosecutors alleged Connolly tipped off Bulger and Flemmi on Dec. 23, 1994, that they were going to be arrested on racketeering indictments on Jan. 5, 1995.

For a bribe, he also allegedly tipped New England Mafia boss Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme that he also was about to be indicted along with Bulger and Flemmi.

Flemmi was arrested five days before the planned arrest. Salemme escaped to Florida, where he was subsequently arrested.

Bulger remains at large, one of the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted fugitives.

Prosecutors had said the worst thing Connolly did was pass on information that three men were providing the FBI with information that could be used against Bulger and Flemmi. Those three men were later found slain.

The trial featured testimony from a man who claimed to have killed 20 people for the underworld, another Bulger associate who admitted to five gangland slayings, and a disgraced former FBI supervisor who admitted under immunity that Connolly had passed along a bribe to him from Bulger and Flemmi.

Defense attorney Tracy Miner had portrayed Connolly, a dedicated agent decorated for his ability to recruit informants, as a scapegoat to cover up the agency's embarrassment over mishandling of informants.

She said he was the target of revenge by "serial killers" and "serial liars" because he turned their friends into government snitches.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham, however, portrayed Connolly as a rogue agent who betrayed his oath for profit.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The jury deliberated 13 hours over two days before deciding John J. Connolly Jr. had been corrupted by top Boston gang bosses he recruited as informants.He was also convicted of making false statements. The jury did find him not guilty of some racketeering and...
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2002-00-28
Tuesday, 28 May 2002 12:00 AM
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