A Christmas Story: A Good Cop Dying Young: Murdered by the FBI’s Top Echelon Informant Program – 3 of 3

() NaimovichThat’s one half the story. Foley’s half is that after making him feel he was suspected they then made him believe Naimovich was the leak. Foley was a young trooper at the time. He was being used and abused by Ring.

He and others in his group which  were under Mattioli diligently investigated Naimovich. They would manage to twist his relationship with an informant into something criminal. That’s another long story which I have written about before.

While Foley was doing that, Ring who knew he set them off after Naimovich wrongfully did nothing to stop them. He knew the source of the leak was a secretary in their FBI office but kept quiet about it. Naimovich would be arrested by Ring and Mattioli while at work in a manner intended to totally humiliate him. He would be acquitted at trial in Boston’s federal court. You know how innocent you must be to be acquitted there. Trooper Steve Lowell and I testified for him.

The other half is that Foley and his crew were doing Naimovich when they should have been working on doing Sarkis and Berger. I was overseeing an investigation where my guy in charge who had led us right up to the top of the organize crime pyramid was being investigated by half the guys working for him. The reason we are told you cannot serve two masters is shown by this where on behalf of the FBI the state police were undermining a state police investigation.

Ring’s squad had John Connolly who would testify against Naimovich and Nick Gianturco who worked closely with Foley. Ring, nicknamed Pipe by Whitey, Connolly and Gianturco socialized with Whitey and Stevie. Weeks said he had been gifts by Whitey for them which he gave to Connolly. Gianturco admitted that he took the gifts.

Step back and consider what had happened. The FBI organized crime squad, C – 1, was protecting two vicious criminals, Whitey and Stevie, as top-level informants. Its agents learned of a Norfolk County investigation which was being conducted with the State Police Special Services Unit that involved long-term electric surveillance which had led them to install electronic surveillance on the offices and telephone of two other top gangsters. They knew that the state trooper leading the wiretap was John Naimovich. They set up a phony reason to cause the State Police to investigate Naimovich. Their intent had to be to impede the investigation into Sarkis and Berger.

Why the rush to get Naimovich? Nothing would have changed had they let my investigation proceed. Was the FBI also protecting Sarkis and Berger? Were Sarkis and Berger top-level informants? Or, were they protecting Whitey and Stevie knowing that if we continued we would be getting information against them?

I would like to think this is all about the FBI. That It has nothing to do with the Justice Department, But I know that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan lied to me about Naimovich’s involvement telling me after I called him when I heard Naimovich had been arrest to tell him he made a mistake that they had evidence Naimovich was a long-term leak to the Mafia. That was the same line Ring used to trick Foley.

I would not know that O’Sullivan personally met with McIntyre the witness against Naimovich. When arrested McIntyre, who was Naimovich’s informant, said Naimovich did nothing wrong. O’Sullivan then hammered him telling him unless he came back with a different story they were going to lock him up for many years and take away all his assets. He decided to save himself. In the grand jury a juror listening to the tape of conversations between Naimovich and McIntyre asked if they had some sort of relationship. O’Sullivan lied to the juror telling him no while he knew that there was an informant relationship.

I sometimes think Whitey’s lawyers use too wide of a paint brush when they suggest corruption beyond the FBI and into the Justice Department. Then I think of O’Sullivan’s toady and near criminal behavior on behalf of the FBI and wonder. O’Sulllivan would testify before a Congressional committee that he feared the FBI.

I want to give the lawyers in the Department of Justice a break because the main corruption that continues to this day is in the FBI with its Top Echelon informant program where some criminal operations are protected and in protecting them they are also destroying operations against other criminals. But are they doing the same things O’Sullivan did, knuckling people to tell lies to please the FBI.

The Naimovich jury could not reach a decision on the conspiracy indictment. The U.S. attorney said it planned to retry him on that. Naimovich was beat and tired. His fight was gone. An innocent man falsely accused sitting in court listening on as the government tried to bury him in prison for decades. FBI men sitting back like they did with Salvati knowing this was a farce and caring less that Naimovich faced this ordeal.

Naimovich was told if he quit the State Police the conspiracy charge would be dropped. He did. He felt totally betrayed by his job and those on it after all his years of superb work. He would not take his retirement pay. His friend Charlie’s wife who saw him at a cookout a year after his acquittal said he looked like a shell of the man she once knew. He would die not long after that. The wrongful wound inflicted on him killed him as surely as a bullet.

RIP John.

12 thoughts on “A Christmas Story: A Good Cop Dying Young: Murdered by the FBI’s Top Echelon Informant Program – 3 of 3

  1. Brutal. Curious whether John personally conveyed all of his feelings of professional mortification and anger at this pipe job to you, and what was the content of those conversations. If he may speak from the grave regarding particulars then only you can be his voice. Were there good reasons for you to create some ” distance ” from John by the time he was being crucified in federal court ; reasons owing to process as well as perhaps a genuine fear that all players in this sham might include you, considering the terrible abuse of federal power you saw being enacted on a good Mass State Trooper? … He was acquitted based on your testimony as well as Steve Lowells, but this was clearly a hairy deal ! What intrigues me is the apportionment of blame. All of the antagonists form the interstices of the net as it were. The net waves. The net is cast. What ” Hand ” throws it ultimately ? Or is this metaphor inadequate to the matter ? The antagonists form the net, but are or were ” caught ” as ” cast ” as surely as John Naimovitch was. It is all of a piece. John should be heard from .

    1. John:

      When Naimovich was indicted I called Jerry O’Sullivan to tell him he made a mistake. O’Sullivan lied to me and said John had been leaking information for years to the mob in Boston. I would within a day or two have a conversation with John. He too thought there had been a mistake. He started off saying that the guy McIntyre he had been dealing with and who the feds were tapping was his informant and that was the reason he was in contact with him. I sort of cut him off saying I did not want to discuss the facts of the case because whatever he told me the federals would be requiring me to tell them. I then went on to tell him that other than that I believed he was innocent and anything I could do to help him I would do it.

      I was scheduled to give a class on discovery at the State Police Headquarters located in Framingham around that time. I went there and at the end of the class talked about Naimovich being indicted and said that he was innocent. I was not invited back to speak again. You may not recall but at that time everyone lived in great fear of the FBI and most of the guys on Naimovich’s job in command positions dropped him like a hot potato.

      John and I were not that close. He never complained to me about it other than what he said about it being a mistake in the first call. We’d talk on occasion. I recommended a couple of lawyers to him but he said he wouldn’t hire them because they had defended Mafia people. I don’t know if he complained to anyone. I met him once after his acquittal on the North Shore accompanied by a Quincy detective who we were both friendly with, Gallagher, for some reason which now escapes me. He seemed down but didn’t complain. I heard from a woman who was close to him who said within a year he had become a shell of his former self who seemed completely depressed. I did not know that at the time but the idea he had worked for 23 years on a job and almost everyone turning on him and treating him poorly led to his depression and death.

      I never created a distance from John. I worked with his defense lawyers in telling them what I knew of him. The FBI came to my office to question me but the DA would not let me meet with them which I was willing to do (a good call by him) and it was agreed I would be submitted questions in writing which were sent to me which I answered. It was clear from the beginning I would be a witness from him.

      In those days I didn’t fear anything knowing my record was fine and really not believing that the federals would target anyone which I no longer believe. Yes, it was a hairy deal being a state prosecutor who ran a DA’s office under the DA testifying for a defendant in federal court. It was much harder for Steve Lowell I’d guess since his job was all against Naimovich. Some who helped the federals in their case were guys who pretended to be his friend and testified against him. I was at a party after the Falmouth road race and one of them who I knew betrayed John came up to me and said he always supported John. That was the story he was telling his fellow troopers when I knew it was the exact opposite.

      I really had no choice. As I said John and I were not close – we had our problems because John was always protective of his guys and I was in his mind an outsider. We worked together well but kept our distance. I liked him because he did the job well and had a different way about him, he tolerated me. I knew in my gut he was falsely accused despite O’Sullivan’s lie which momentarily set me back because, again being naive, I never could believe I’d be lied to by someone in his position. That, of course, complicates my analysis of the Bulger/O’Sullivan meeting.

      You just have to wonder how many other food guys were destroyed by the FBI.

      1. Hi Matt,

        Was informant Mike Taylor ever considered in the Naimovich case? Like Whitey, he was an informant double-agent protected by the FBI, USAO and Fred Riley and they tried to fire Trooper Robert Monahan for investigating him.

        1. Bruce:

          Taylor’s name never came up to the best of my knowledge. Interesting to read Fred Riley’s name. Have not heard it in years.

  2. Matt
    I thought you were going to delve into WHY Whitey Bulger got the perks of being an informant when he was NOT an informant. You laid out a great case as to why Bulger wasnt an informant and then just dropped the subject. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

      1. Matt, I understand that you are a former Marine and I am sure you can handle yourself in any situation. However , did you at any time feel like you might get personal or professional retribution for the actions of your job? It seems like a lot of dirty pool and almost beyond belief behavior was going on by people and organizations that most Americans are taught to regard with the highest respect.

        1. Norwood:

          Thinking back I recall there were a handful of occasions when having left a wiretap plant late at night walking alone to my car by myself that I hoped that no gangsters were around but for the most part I did the job straight out and didn’t think of it.

          The Boston U.S. attorney did come after my office for doing things that their office did all the time but I had nothing to do with that case but looking back the people behind it were the same ones behind Naimovich. I never worried about other law enforcement types since I thought there was nothing they could get on me. All my dealings with cops involved doing it right with no short cuts. I always knew if I did anything wrong it would come back and infect every case I handled especially in the electronic surveillance area so we followed the law and usually went beyond it. I had nothing to do with the criminals or gangsters as informants since that was a cops job. I like to think I put myself in a position where I could not be set up and nothing could come down on me.

          I know some assistant DAs carried guns. I never did back then even though I qualified as an expert on the .45 while in the service. One in Suffolk carried two. He explained to me one day he has an ankle holster so that if he could not reach the gun on his hip he could drop down and pull the one out of his holster. Another Suffolk ADA wore a huge gun around his office. I thought they were nuts. I only knew of one ADA in Norfolk who carried. I would not have known it but we were in the middle of making a few arrests in Brookline and we needed something or other so he ran into a bank to use their telephone and the gun slipped out of his holster and slid across the floor and all in the bank panicked until he showed his badge.

          One thing I never liked was when my name was mentioned by criminals whose conversation we were intercepting over the telephone. I liked to think I was anonymous. Nor did I like a call I got at three in the morning where I was told a defendant in one of my cases had been shot in the chest but the gun misfired and he ran away. He was scheduled to be in the court on my case that morning. The guy making the call told the other that he would go to the court and shoot him again and anyone around him.

          Those things were exceptions. Most of the time I did my job and never thought of them. There was only one prosecutor injured during my time. That as an assistant AG named McLaughlin who was followed home in a train and gunned down in West Roxbury by one of the inner city hoodlums. It was really an outlier.

          1. Thank for your detailed response. What you described is part of the nuts and bolts that go into making criminal cases. What you did all those years takes real courage as does writing this blog in todays electronic world. You might want to take a look at the new film, The Big Short. It goes into great detail about the financial crisis and it sounds boring but it was very interesting. The stone cold behavior of so many involved made it seem like they were financial gangsters.Best of luck and heath in the coming new year.

  3. Matt,

    An evolving paradigm , this is a phrase of praise in describing the evolution of ideas and understandings through this blog’s life. As Sir Thomas Browne wrote, ” But who knows the fate of his bones, and how often he is to be buried.”
    Hearken to your own understanding. Your question as to the horror and awe the FBI was held in being a matter of recollection was sportive. As I thoroughly recollect, as you are aware, the absolute power held by the Anointed One shall we say. This os still the most powerful law agency in the world. It still terrifies as well as succours the public. And when it sanctions, ” Extra-Legal Acts ” which can include, here I deliberately parse, execution by government sanction, then we are in ” License To Kill ” moral and practical territory. We are past theory and the ” Way things are s’posed to be, ” and on a strange footing indeed.
    You have been in moccassins fitted by the Bureau. Very ill fitting moccassins . How they did pinch ! You walked with John as he was set up . Ultimately you, Trooper Lowell, and The Truth saved him. At least in terms of vindication John Naimovitch was saved.
    So, it was the Wild F******* West then as you know, Counselor. In revisiting in more detail John’s case you realized that sanction for acts nefarious were walked down those marbled Justice Department corridors. Do you think therefore that Jeremiah O’ would not have known exactly how the sausages were made or that he did not understand an inherent , hairiness and precariousness to his … existential situation? In this purpling gloom of madness in government that O’Sullivan murked his way through is James Bulger’s thwarted defense that O’ Sullivan … engineered … an order of mutual protection and sanction to him?
    The bones do not lie . Or at least not Alone.

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