The FBI were going up on the telephone of a low-level bookie Francis McIntyre not because they were investigating him but because they were hell-bent on getting Massachusetts State Trooper John Naimovich who had been working organized crime for most of his 23 year career.
Here’s where the plot thickens. No one can explain why they had targeted Naimovich – or perhaps I should say – no one can say why they were continuing to target Naimovich. Let me be a little more precise, no one can say why AUSA Jeremiah O’Sullivan, the guy who gave Whitey and Stevie the pass on the Race Fixing Case and had the secret meeting with Whitey; and the FBI’s organized crime squad that included James Ring and John Connolly and others who Kevin Weeks said took money from Whitey; and the state police unit led by Captain Matioli, which had an aggressive young trooper, who just happened to have testified just before Jimmy Katz, Tom Foley, were still chasing after Naimovich.
Tom Foley wrote a book about his life as a state trooper. He tells how excited he was when he learned the state police and the FBI were going to work together in organized crime matters. Prior to this time the state police had its own organized crime unit the Special Services Unit (SSU) which when I first met the members was headed by Sgt Charlie Henderson, who would rise to become the state police boss, and John Naimovich, among others. It also had other specialized groups such as the one that Bobby Long, who testified just before Foley, headed. The state police had limited resources but did top-notch work.
Bobby Long was the state trooper who headed the Lancaster Street investigation whose group had taken all the pictures and videos of Whitey that were introduced into evidence last week. Bobby’s group built up a case against Whitey and the Mafia guys he hung out with and got papers to install an electronic bug in the Lancaster Street Garage. He and his boss, Colonel O’Donovan, needed to get help in doing the paper work and some information on the best type of equipment to use to run the operation. They decided to go to AUSA Jeremiah O’Sullivan for assistance.
They laid out their operation to him. I suppose they showed him the pictures of all the wise guys who were at the garage and explained how they met in the office to the left as you walked into the garage. Mafia bosses Larry Zannino and Danny Angiulo among other Mafia people were there; top bookies Mel Berger, Joey Y, and Dickie O’Brien showed up; Whitey, Stevie, and other people associated with them were intimately involved with the others.
What they were putting in front of O’Sullivan was the results of an investigation that could have taken down all of the organized criminals in the Greater Boston area, the Mafia and the Winter Hill gang, and destroyed the upper levels of the gambling enterprises. O’Sullivan listened patiently to them, made suggestions as to how they could proceed, and inwardly felt enormous apprehension.
What he didn’t tell them as they proceeded to show him fact after fact was that he had spent a year investigating the same Mafia group with the FBI’s organized crime unit. He also was planning to do electronic bugs against Larry Zannino and the Angiulos. He didn’t want Whitey and Stevie caught up in a state investigation since he knew they were FBI informants. Nor did he tell them if they succeeded he very well would have lost his job.
You see at that time the Mafia was the FBI’s number one target in the US. Also, O’Sullivan and the Boston FBI had been keeping the upper level poohbahs in DC informed of their progress and their investigation was considered one of the top investigations in the country. If this rag-tag group of state cops got to take down all those folks then all the FBI efforts would have gone to naught. Most importantly, the FBI would have been embarrassed, and as the title to my book says, you Don’t Embarrass The Family.” It’s a cardinal sin and the consequences can be quite awful.
A state police success would destroy the FBI’s relationship with Whitey and Stevie Flemmi. More fundamentally, this would be an unmitigated disaster for O’Sullivan. He knew the wrath of the FBI, which he testified before Congress he feared, would come down on him like a diesel locomotive.
Bobby Long’s group went to a superior court judge named Bob Barton, as good and tough of a judge as has sat on that bench. They gave him the paper work. He read it over. Approved the installation of the electronic bug but no sooner was it installed than the investigation was compromised.