John Connolly Week: (2 of 10) A Look Back part 2 of 2

(continued from yesterday )

“On August 24, 2011 Milton Valencia of the Globe reported Rossetti was told by the FBI {agent who was handling him] “my job is to keep you anonymous and safe.  You don’t have anything to worry about if things down the road happen, but if that happens, we’ll have to deal with it as it comes, I will have to start working on it.”  This is an FBI agent talking to a vicious criminal suspected of six or more murders.  His job isn’t to stop this man it’s to keep him safe.  Who is the agent working for?

The Globe came back to it again on November 3, 2011 with an editorial saying Congress should oversee the FBI informants.  It tells about the systematic failure of FBI agents to follow the guidelines on handling informants.  It says Congressman Lynch is right to call for congressional oversight over the FBI’s use of informants.

On December 6, 2011 Cullen reported that Congressman Lynch and two other Congressmen met with the FBI.    The FBI said it was conducting an internal inquiry and promised a follow-up meeting.  What’s the problem?  Rossetti is a violent criminal, a Mafia capo,  actively engaged in heroin dealing. Why does the FBI need all this time to conduct this inquiry?

Almost a year after getting involved, again Congressman Lynch was asked about the matter.  In the meantime Rossetti had been tried and convicted of plotting to rob a drug dealer’s home and sentenced to seven to nine years in prison.  (Have you ever wondered why the sentences for career criminals seem to go down over time? Does it make sense?)  Lynch said, “There’s still more work to be done . .   in my estimation, at least what we’ve seen so far, what Rossetti was doing should have triggered a [halt] in his status as a confidential informant.”    He said he met with other congressional leaders and have met privately with FBI officials.  The agency’s internal probe is ongoing.  The agents have yet to talk to certain witnesses and evidence in the state charges that has been sealed so far could aid in the investigation.  Lynch said he has not made a determination as to the appropriateness of the relationship because the FBI review is not finished but early indications are the relationship was questionable.  He went on saying “There’s a whole litany of the guidelines, from A to Z, that we’re looking at.

All that sounds nice Congressman but it sounds like you’re letting the FBI off the hook again.  I know it is tough taking on “the finest investigative organization in the world”  but you don’t seem bothered that a year after the FBI said it began an inquiry it still hasn’t interviewed people.   You and Congress are now looking at a litany of guidelines rather than the simple fact the FBI is still partnering with murderers and protecting these gangsters.

Let me put it straight.  Rossetti was a life long criminal like Whitey — armed robbery, gun possession, heroin dealing, planning home break-ins, suspected of murder —   who was being protected by the FBI.  You have an FBI agent intercepted telling him his job is to keep this vicious criminal safe.  The FBI had been protecting him for a dozen of years, just like Whitey.    There is no difference in the two cases.  Start from there.

Here’s what I want to tell you Congressman Lynch.  I have no idea how many other Bulgers or Rossettis are being protected by the FBI while they kill and commit other vicious crimes.  This was supposed to stop ten years ago but it continues.  I’ll ask you a simple question, do you know how many Bulgers or Rossettis are being protected?  Don’t you think that is important?  Don’t you think someone outside the FBI should have that knowledge?

Stop looking at a litany of guidelines.  Stop waiting for the FBI to investigate itself.   Stop being afraid.  Do something to bring the FBI in line.”

It has been five years since I wrote this. We still have not received a report on the investigation. Representative Lynch, Senator Grassley all let it disappear. So has the Boston Globe even though Cullen stated: “This is, of course, scandalous, outrageous, unacceptable, and, given the FBI’s attitude when it comes to public accountability, totally predictable. And it is in some ways worse than the Whitey Bulger debacle.” 

In 2011 the FBI had no problem that the FBI agent handler of Mark Rossetti a convicted major felon, Mafia member, and suspected murderer said to him: “my job is to keep you anonymous and safe.”  In 2008 John Connolly was convicted in Florida for doing that for his informant Whitey Bulger and was sentenced to die in prison.

22 thoughts on “John Connolly Week: (2 of 10) A Look Back part 2 of 2

  1. Thanks for a well written and interesting article Matt.

    1. Do you think that the cases of Danny Greene and Greg Scarpa are very similar to Rossetti and Bulger?

    2. Was John Connolly and the FBI using Mercurio and Flemmi to keep tabs on the factions within the Patriarca crime family?

    3. Was Manocchio one of Salemme’s associates?

    1. David:

      As for Manocchio there’s this: “By the mid-1990s, when the reins of the powerful crime family had shifted to Boston and into the hands of Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, law enforcement had identified Manocchio as a capo regime – a captain – who was running a crew of bookmakers, loan sharks and thieves in Rhode Island. “Frank Salemme and Louie Manocchio became very close,” Rhode Island State Police Col. Brendan Doherty said. “I’ve conducted surveillance on Louie with Salemme on several occasions.”

      Flmmi was first used by FBI agent Paul Rico and later Connolly to give info on the Patriarca family and other Mafia figures. Mercurio came along after Vanessa’s (early 80s) when Connolly made him a top echelon informant. Mercurio big help in bugging of Mafia induction ceremony.

      Scarpa definitely similar to Whitey and Rossetti. I don’t know much about Danny Greene’s FBI involvement. But however many are in the TEI program I’d say the great majority involve FBI agent partnering with vicious criminals. Good deal for the criminals; bad deal for the rest of us; and horrible deal for their victims.

  2. Why doesn’t the FBI use waterboarding? These people are as dangerous to our freedom and rights as those in Gitmo.

    I’m kind of kidding, but this story, only one fifth over, is terrifying.

  3. Clearly this is a story that bears repeating. Years ago the idea that there might be
    consequences of any kind for writing about this subject would be considered absurd.
    I don’t feel the same way today.

  4. I certainly agree with the premise of your article — the FBI should not be protecting individuals they should in fact be targeting. And, Congressional inaction regarding this IS disgraceful. My disagreement — John Connolly was not Bulger’s handler. Bulger handled Connolly and Morris. John Connolly received at least $242,000 in cash from Bulger. Connolly’s rent was paid by Bulger; boats and cars purchased, expensive gifts such as gold watches, and the list goes on. And, in return, Connolly offered information, and more —-. John Connolly was corrupt. He and Morris created an “informant file” to protect themselves. Information from that file was borrowed from other files, this was attested to in testimony by other honest FBI agents. Both Connolly AND John Morris deserve to be in prison for their willingness to aid criminals like Bulger and Flemmi. They got Connolly on false charges in Florida. They let Morris go free. Why is Connolly incarcerated for life? Because he knows the degree of corruption within the FBI, DOJ, etc. He’s been waiting to get out of prison before he “talks”. They’ve made certain he’s not getting out. It’s time for Connolly to start talking. It’s time for Connolly to tell all, including his willingness to let Bulger handle him for monetary gain. It’s time for him to speak truth.

        1. More BS . JUT is PNG . Persona Non Grata at this point . Persona Non Gratin ( sic ) is more to the point .

  5. Matt
    Look forward to ALL your articles on Connolly. With that said what are your thoughts as to why Bulger has never written a book to set everything “straight”? Whats also curious to me is when the FBI went into Bulger apartment in Santa Monica he had a collection of crime books. One of those books was the book by Weeks if memory serves me. Plus the reports are that Bulger talked non stop to the guards in Plymouth no? One would think he would write a book (even if it were self-serving and with lies).

    Something tells me Flemmi is one the East Coast. Just a hunch. The FBI will NEVER stop using Top criminals as informants. And over the years scandals will be reported when the chickens come home to roost. Its part of the FBI philosophy and will never change IMHO. Any idea who is running things in Organized Crime in the Boston/New England area as we speak?

    1. Jerome:

      One reason he would not write a book is that he cannot profit from it. Another is that you have to be in the right frame of mind to do so and he’s in a wheel chair in the can under constant supervision or watch which makes it difficult to write. The only way he would want to do it would be to get money for his relatives or Catherine Greig but even trying that all his victims’ families would tie the money u in litigation and some judge would order the money to be forfeited over to the victims at the request of federal prosecutors.

      hat may make you wonder why the victims of Martorano or Flemmi never sued for their money. I’d suggest that was because the feds are protecting them (like the FBI protects its top echelon informants the DOJ protects its top gangster witnesses) and would not cooperate. If I were Whitey I wold not worry about who is getting the money and not want to go down without telling my side of the story. But I’m not him. I did hear he had some New York writer he was working with. He has a supporter Janet who writes into here who is an author – he could tell his story to her. I’d be willing to put it on the blog just to hear it.

      You may be right about Flemmi. I’m sure a half skilled detective could track him down. Lucky guy murder dozens and be back on the street receiving federal money. With sufficient exposure the FBI could be made to stop but Congress is indifferent so I may be naive. As for the Boston mob, I’m sure whoever is running it is probably a FBI top echelon informant.

    1. MS:

      It is difficult to organize people as you will see if you continue my series. I fully agree that blogging or tweeting is pretty much useless unless some behavior follows. Some of the people I have been in contact wit interested in helping him are FBI agents but they are reluctant to take on the FBI which is necessary if Connolly is to get a break.

      Connolly too has to take off his blinders and see where his enemy is. Read on and you’ll see where I’m going.

  6. Off topic. Sorry. Glorious Leader has decided on Korea. I was wrong. I thought he’d pull his move on Iran. We’re screwed, now. Unless, of course, folks see what he’s up to, and can his ass. The North Korean “threat” is pure crap. Don’t let that idiot start a war just to dominate the news cycle.

  7. Janet and the other interested bloggers: Mark Twain said, “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.” I bring this quote to your attention because of all the misinformation that was printed by Ms. Janet Uhlar in her expose’ regarding her dear “New Friend” James “Whitey” Bulger. First, the senior FBI Agent that was in charge of the arrest of James Bulger advised that Bulger, when asked if he paid “John” $7,000, his reply was John who? The lead FBI SA then qualified his question and asked if he paid John Connolly $7,000? Bulger stated that he never paid John Connolly a “dime.” Then it was John Morris that you paid $7,000.; Bulger replied Yes and said “add a couple of ‘zeros’ to that amount.” So much for Bulger paying John Connolly any money as the Globe reported. Second, the alleged $242,000 that Bulger and others paid John Connolly was refuted by two, I repeat, two net worth audits conducted by the IRS. The IRS found NO irregularities, period! As an aside, John was shrewd in his real estate dealings, and every financial dealings that he engaged in, relative to major purchases: everything was done with a “MORTGAGE.” Now onto another subject matter: FBI TE informant program. The FBI does seek out members of organized crime, the LCN-Mafia, Russian Mafia, Spanish Mafia, Jewish Mafia, Irish Mafia, you get my point, then the FBI will sit down with each target to discuss their potential as an informant. When the interviewing agent finishes his debriefing, he will report back to his supervisor and file the necessary paperwork requesting that his target be considered for inclusion into the TE Program. Once the SAC [Special Agent in Charge] and the supervisor reviews the target’s background, known criminal activities and reputation within the criminal world of organize crime, the SAC will then contact the USA’s office to discuss the targets potential. Once the USA and the SAC agree to accept the target into the TE program, a debriefing of the target will begin and guidelines will be set. Aware of the targets criminal activities, the USA will grant the target immunity from his normal criminal activities, EXCEPT MURDER. This is drilled into his/or her head; there is no immunity for murder. The target is made aware that if he tells the FBI that he has killed someone, then all bets are off and he will be prosecuted. This was known to Bulger, Flemmi and all the other OC connected targets. Now, this brings me to the terrible injustice suffered by John Joseph Connolly, Jr. During his trial in Boston, John was convicted of four predicate acts, none of which involved VIOLENCE. All of the charges that he was convicted of came from the testimony of Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme. Salemme said that he had no hard feeling towards John Connolly, what bull-Shit! John arrested Frank Salemme on the streets of New York City, circa 1972. Salemme at the time was wanted for the car bombing of Attorney Fitzgerald, who was badly maimed and permanently scarred for life. No hard feelings? Doubt that very much! To add insult to injury, the USA’s office, under the supervision of AUSA Wyshak, debriefed Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, in 2003, regarding is criminal activities over several decades. These interrogatories solicited responses from Flemmi, however, they were not the answers that they, USA, AUSA Fred Wyshak, DEA Agents, and Mass State Police wanted to hear; no FBI Agents were invited to participate in the depostion. I will give you one example: Flemmi was asked if John Connolly ever asked him [Flemmi] to kill anyone on his behalf; answer, NO. Flemmi was asked if he [Flemmi] ever told John Connolly that he was going to kill anyone; answer NO. Flemmi was asked if he ever told John Connolly that he had ever killed anyone; answer NO. Flemmi added that it would be [my words] ridiculous for any of us, Bulger, Flemmi, et al, to advise John Connolly of their murders as John Connolly would have arrested them, period! Most of the Flemmi Deposition was placed under seal by a duped Federal Judge in Boston, never to be revealed, which would have exonerated John Connolly. Moving on, AUSA Wyshak approached John Connolly while he was serving his federal time and demanded Connolly provide names of agents who took money from Bulger or anyone else or he [Wyshak] would get John Indicted for murder in the shooting death of John Callahan. John Connolly told Wyshak in colorful language what he could do with the request/demand. Connolly advised Wyshak that the only person that took money was his former FBI Supervisor John Morris; no one else. Well, Wyshak did not like John’s answer and told John that he was going to proceed to get him indicted in Florida for the murder of John Callahan. Wyshak convinced the Florida authorities that there was no “double-jeopardy” in seeking indictments for 1st degree murder and conspiracy to commit 1st. degree murder. The trial commenced and after both sides rested, the state asked the trial judge, Judge Stanford Blake, to have the jury consider a third charge, an unindicted charge, of 2nd degree murder with a firearm. John’s defense attorneys vehemently objected, but, the judge allowed it. The jury came back with Not Guilty on the 1st degree murder and conspiracy charges, but, for some inexplicable reason, found John Connolly guilty of 2nd degree murder with a firearm. Now, to bring you up to the present; John sits in prison for a crime he had nothing to do with. He was acquitted of anything to do with the murder of John Callahan in his Boston trial. In fact, John Martorano, the actual killer of Callahan, testified that he never met Connolly, never spoke to Connolly and Connolly had nothing to do with the murder of John Callahan. Martorano testified further that he shot Callahan in the back of the head in Florida and he had the gun used in the killing. I bring this up as the Florida statute that address the 2nd degree murder with a firearm charge clearly states that John would have had to have actual possession of the murder weapon to be convicted. John was 1500 miles away in Massachusetts when the murder took place. But, John still resides in a Florida prison fighting for his freedom. And Lastly, the Judge, Judge Stanford Blake, stated in his order that he errored when he allowed the jury to consider the 2nd degree murder charge. Judge Blake also instructed John Connolly’s defense team to file a “Motion for Arrest of Judgement” before the date of sentencing. Well, the defense team failed to file the motion WITHIN THE TEN-DAY JURISDICTIONAL WINDOW and the case went to the 3rd District Court of Appeal, Miami, Florida. The three-judge panel, headed by lead judge Leslie Ann Rothenberg, Frank Shepherd and Richard Suarez heard the appeal by John’s appellate attorney Manny Alvarez. The lead judge, Rothenberg, issued a PCA [Per Curim Afformance] finding for the state. A “PCA” required NO WRITTEN RESPONSE. Subsequent to the original hearing, a final en banc re-hearing was held and the 9 members issued a 5 – 4 decision that supported the state. John is exploring other legal options. Future posts will be updated.

    1. Dick, if I remember correctly, we met a few years back. You’re retired FBI? You told me you thought Paul Ricco got a bad rap, and wasn’t really a corrupt agent. Remember that conversation? I was stunned by it. Ricco certainly was a corrupt agent, just like Morris, just like Connolly. Information was bought from Connolly and Morris. Information that led to the murders of certain individuals. Bulger’s shock at the phony informant file has made him realize that Connolly’s not worth protecting anymore. He’s asked Connolly to be honest about the file. Connolly refuses to fess up. Bulger’s been patient. He’s ready to set the record straight. “A lie unanswered becomes the truth.”

      1. No one’s believing the false and ridiculous charges in the Florida case. Upon hearing it, even Bulger wanted to speak in Connolly’s defense when he was caught. Certainly, Connolly had nothing to do with the Callahan murder. Neither did Bulger. Martorano was the lone conspirator and carried out his plan to save himself from being found out in regard to the Wheeler murder (which neither Bulger or Connolly had anything to do with either). Hard for readers to even consider that Bulger wasn’t involved in these murders, never mind accept it. I get it, folks. Johnny Martorano and Kevin Weeks told the “truth” in their story-books! Johnny escaped the electric chair and Kevin escaped serving a huge chunk of his life in prison. And, as far as everyone’s concerned, Bulger’s guilty of everything they say he is. One told the lie and the other’s swore to it. The payment from the Gov. was freedom.
        Time to put down the story-books folks. Is Bulger a criminal? Yes. But, you’re basing your “facts” on pure fiction.

    2. Dick, very well said.

      (1)You forget the 2-1 Florida appellate decision that overturned the trial court’s “Murder by Gun” conviction.
      2. Didn’t the Statute of Limitations run on that Murder by Gun count? But Judge Blake said the defense raised the SOL defense too late? Ridiculous, because failure to timely raise the SOL is ineffective assistance of counsel. Case should have been thrown out!

      3. Janet forgets FBI agents are given cars; Janet forgets that John owned a duplex from which he derived rental income, and everything he owned in his life is accounted for by his own income and his wife’s. John never took a dime from any crook! Janet forgets John retired from the FBI in 1990 and took a good job at Edison. John’s Finances have been scrutinized thoroughly and not one extra red cent has ever been found. Janet omits these facts.

      4. In Boston, John was acquitted of all the serious charges (8 or 9) and convicted of 4 or 5 minor charges (e.g., writting a letter to a judge; telling Weeks that he heard through the grapevine an indictment was coming down (public knowledge). Only one of those minor charges occurred during his @20 year career as an FBI agent. Repeat: In Boston, John Connolly WAS CONVICTED OF JUST ONE CRIME DURING HIS 20 YEAR FBI CAREER. What was that crime? Accepting a case of wine with a grand in it.

      The admittedly corrupt agent Morris, said at the Boston trial that he gave John a case a wine and put an envelope with $1,000 in it. When asked where he placed the envelope, Morris said between “the separators.” In Miami, when asked where he placed the envelope, Morris said “at the bottom” of the case.

      Morris REPEATEDLY lied to get witness protection. The Boston Jury rejected the bulk of his lies.

      THINK OF THIS: Ever hear of cutting a deal with an admittedly corrupt superior officer off to go after an underling? Both trials were a sham! Who was Wyshak really going after?

      5. Flemmi called John Connolly an honest cope from the time of Flemmi’s arrest in 1995 through 2002 (the eve of Flemmi’s own trial); in 1999 under oath Flemmi said John was an honest cop. Wyshak eventually persuaded him to sing a different tune, for leniency, as he persuaded Weeks to sing a song about a 1995 meeting inside a closed freezer (no witnesses); Wyshak needed 1995 because the statute of limitations had run on many of the phony charges brought against John.

      6. On writing a letter to a judge. If John Connolly had stood outside the courthouse with the exact same words on that letter, he’d be considered exercising his free speech rights. Wolfe was asked what he did with anonymous letters he received. He said he shared them with counsel. End of story. But Wyshak, before Tauro, tried to make writing a letter into a crime.

      7. We’ve hashed and re-hashed all these issues for so many years.

      8. I believe FBI tells its informers “no violence” not just “no murders.”

      1. Bill:

        Connolly was not convicted of taking the case of wine from Morris. He was convicted of giving the case of wine with the grand to Morris. Connolly was not convicted of taking anything.

  8. Facts are stubborn . You make a compelling case . A sea of sycophants to the false god , celebrity , inundate us with their BS . Regards , for this cogent summary . Mr. Baker .

  9. To all, I will have more to say later. The truth will be reviewed. Dick Baker. PS. I am babysitting the grand kids at the moment.

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