James Ring was a supervisor in the FBI’s Boston office. He was supervised the organized crime squad called C – 1. Ring involved the State Police in an investigation of Massachusetts State Trooper John Naimovich, shown in this post, a man with 23 years on the job. He was considered the top State Police organized crime investigator. He was a man I found beyond reproach. The FBI would go after him to put him out of business. Was it he came too close to the people it was protecting?
Tom Foley who brags about his pursuit of Whitey Bulger was a main participant in it. As a young trooper he worked for the FBI against Naimovich. He did this even after he knew he was set up by the FBI.
I had known Naimovich for over a decade by 1987. I had done wiretaps with him in the past but Colonel O’Donovan for a while refused to let him work with me because of our in-house dispute. O’Donovan believed only the State Police should do wiretaps; I believe any police department could do them. He said if I wanted to work with other police departments he’d not let the State Police Special Operations Unit of which Naimovich was a member work with me. That’s how it stood for several years.
Then one day in the spring of 1987 Naimovich showed up with a young trooper Stevie Lowell, who would turn out to be a real stand-up guy. They wanted to do a wiretap on a small bookie office in one of the small towns in our county. They briefed me on the matter and I agreed to do it.
By that time there were FBI reports on file which I knew nothing about that attacked and demeaned my office suggesting we had leaks coming out of there. They persisted even though Whitey kept complaining my office was after him. They were false. Our operation consisted of me and a highly trusted secretary. I briefed the DA before I began and kept him on top of it. I did all the legal work. She the paperwork. We were the only possible leaks so I knew we had none.
Having worked with Naimovich and the SSU I knew they were not a leaks. Normally the information would be kept between the SSU guys and me. It was a system that worked well.
In 1982 Governor Dukakis had appointed Flemmi’s former handler long time FBI Agent Dennis Condon as Undersecretary of Public Safety. The FBI had placed one of its own in a position overseeing the State Police. He would be in that position from January of 1983 to March of 1981.
In 1984 the State Police started to work with the FBI in organized crime investigations. The FBI had been smitten by the State Police’s Lancaster Street investigation. Had it not been undermined by the FBI it would have taken down Whitey, Stevie, their mob and many top Mafia guys to the FBI’s great embarrassment. No longer would the State Police be able to do organized crime work without keeping the FBI informed. Only one unit would not be under its control, that would be the Special Services Unit. I was working with it.
As we were going along on our wiretap suddenly the State Police decided in 1987 to combine the unit Naimovich was in, the Special Services Unit under the command of Sergeant Bob Haley, with another unit under the command of a guy who worked with the FBI Captain Dave Mattioli who was close to FBI Agent Ring. Foley worked for Mattioli.
The wiretap I was doing with Troopers Naimovich and Lowell started out small but we jumped up the ladder from one bookie office to another. It worked so well without any leaks that we had reached the point where after preparing to put wiretaps on the home and office of Abie Sarkis, a bug in his office and a tap on Mel Berger we had a court order to do it. We began the operation.