As usual with the federal prosecutors they loaded up on charges against Connolly. It is necessary to spell them out for a full understanding of the situation and the deals given to those murderers and his supervisor.
There was a racketeering count that had 14 different acts that the prosecutors alleged Connolly had committed. If only two of these acts were proven then Connolly would be convicted of racketeering. There were 4 counts of bribery, 1 count of extortion, and 9 of obstruction of justice.
The bribery involved receiving a ring from gangsters, giving $1,000 to Agent Morris’s girlfriend to meet him on a trip; giving his FBI supervisor a case of wine; and giving his FBI supervisor a case of wine with $1000 in it. The jury found only the last one was proven.
The extortion count of a liquor store was not proven.
The obstruction charges involved not reporting the extortion; two charges of leaking the identity of informants who were later murdered; one charge of leaking the identity of a person (Callahan) who was to be questioned, and one of leaking information about a telephone wiretap. These were considered the most serious charges. The jury found none were proven.
Four other obstruction of justice charges under the racketeering charge were found to be proven: sending a fraudulent letter to Judge Wolf; causing Flemmi to testify falsely before Judge Wolf; telling Bulger the indictment was coming down; telling Flemmi the indictment was coming down.
There were also three substantive obstruction of justice charges and one making a false statement to the FBI. Three were repeats of those under the racketeering indictment. He was found not guilty of telling Flemmi the indictments were coming down; guilty of causing Flemmi to testify falsely, and guilty of sending fraudulent letter to Judge Wolf. Finally, he was convicted of making false statements to the FBI agent.
The reason Salemme was used as a witness is because his testimony was needed to support several of the charges against Connolly. Under the Racketeering case the charges against Connolly that were proven were: (a) bribery, $1,000 in case of wine; (b) tipped of Bulger to flee; (c) tipped off Flemmi to flee who tipped off Salemme; (d) sent fraudulent letter to Judge Wolf; and (e) persuading Flemmi to testify falsely.
Salemme testified that Flemmi had told him that it was Connolly who tipped him off. He said after Steve Flemmi said it was Morris who did it, Salemme testified he was furious. He confronted Flemmi in the holding cell. Flemmi told him he had to say it was Morris because Connolly could hurt him and Jimmy Bulger. Salemme’s evidence was the only evidence that supported (e) above.
Salemme testified he gave Flemmi money to give to Connolly and Flemmi told him he was getting grand jury information from Connolly. Flemmi said Connolly told him he was the subject of a federal wiretap. This testimony added to the blackening of Connolly’s character.
Salemme testified he met with Connolly to see if he would share information with him. Connolly told him he would let Stevie Flemmi know when the indictments were coming down. Salemme’s evidence was the only evidence that Connolly said that. Salemme said he met Flemmi who told him Connolly told him the indictments were coming down on January 10. Obviously this testimony greatly supported (b) and (c) above.
There were other similar statements. Salemme was a crucial witness on three of the obstruction charges under the racketeering indictment. If the jury disbelieve Salemme because of his active participation in a recent murder the only charges left proven on the racketeering indictment was the $1,000 with the wine box and the fraudulent letter to Judge Wolf. But even there, Salemme having run rough shod over Connolly’s character one of those also may have been put aside if Salemme had not testified.
As to the three substantive counts on which he was convicted, one causing Flemmi to testify falsely would be compromised leaving only lying to an FBI agent and the letter to Wolf. The issue is had the jury knew Salemme committed the more recent Stephen DiSarro murder and the circumstances surrounding that murder would it believe any of his testimony especially that relating to the warnings. An insight into this is that the jury totally rejected the testimony of John Martorano.