(This is being published each Sunday in serial form. For full view of past postings go here. I noted in that summary post that “The reason this story is so important to understanding the Whitey Bulger case is that it shows the whole C – 3 organized crime squad of the FBI, at a minimum, and members of the DOJ were so intent on protecting Whitey they would do pretty much the most outrageous thing any law enforcement organization could do which is to frame an innocent Massachusetts state police trooper to protect Whitey. They were willing for him to do twenty years in prison to help keep their gangster on the street.” )
Before he lost his faith, back in the early days, Tom Foley kept believing the FBI agents could walk across the Charles River from Boston to Cambridge between the bridges. He admired them and trusted them implicitly. He had no reason to doubt them. They had done some pretty good things together.
Around October 1986 Foley had written out some reports on some organized crime activity involving a guy named Danny Forte who was Foley’s informant with connections to the North End. It was pretty top-secret stuff. He was the only one who knew this information.
It’s true he had given a copy of his report to his FBI partner Nick Gianturco. I’ll let Globe columnist Kevin Cullen describe him: “That would be the same Nick Gianturco who used to exchange gifts with Bulger. The same Nick Gianturco who invited Whitey to his home for dinner. The same Nick Gianturco who admitted a fondness for Bulger and credited the gangster with saving his life, a bogus claim meant to inflate Whitey’s value as an informant.”
Foley in his book said (p. 51): “I was surprised that Nick had wanted to see the reports. He’d never asked for them before.” Foley took them out of his safe in the FBI office and left them for Nick who said Washington, DC wanted them in hurry. (Which was a lie.)
One Friday around that time he was heading home on the Turnpike and he was told to come back in to FBI Headquarters. When he got there he was ushered into a room with Supervisor Jim Ring, his captain Dave Mattioli, Nick Gianturco, and Sergeant (?) Sullivan. Nick said to him, “Sorry about this Tommy” and left the room. (Nice set up on your partner.)
Immediately Foley felt under suspicion as they began to ask him about the reports. He said, “It was a horrible feeling.” Ring told him Vinny Ferrara a top Mafia member had seen his report and seemed to know it “word for word.” Ring , called the “Pipe” by Whitey and an alleged recipient of some of Whitey’s gifts, said no one in the FBI leaked it so it had to be Foley. Unless, of course, he divulged it to someone else.
Foley desperately thought. Then he remembered. He wrote: “”Yes, one other person. On Dave’s instructions” — I turned to Mattioli — “I told Trooper John Naimovich of the State Police.” Foley said, he wrote “the attention of everyone in the room shifted a little. It was subtle, but I could feel it move away from me.”
Foley was hooked. C-3 squad of the FBI with Connolly, Gianturco, Newton and Ring, all who were named as recipients of Whitey’s generosity had sicked him on Naimovich. Foley was so relieved he was no longer under suspicion. He gladly swallowed the bait.
He didn’t pick up the very unusual happenings that led to this point: first time Gianturco wanted to see his report; being directed to show it to only one person, Trooper Naimovich.; nor did he seem to catch on if that had he briefed Naimovich on it then there was no way Ferrarra would know it “word for word.”
How Naimovich happened to be involved with Mattioli and Foley again seemed to be on the surface something on the level but in retrospect seems not quite what it was cut out to be. I told how the FBI wanted to take control of all the organized crime investigations in the state. In 1987 the state police decided to take the very effective and independent SSU – with which I was engaged with at the time in a wiretap on some important bookies – and combine it with another unit.
It was placed under the command of Captain Mattioli who was working hand-in-hand with the FBI. He immediately clashed with Naimovich. Worse, he got access to the informational files and the targets we were listening to on the wiretap we were involved in at the time. We’d begun in a small local bookie office and were slowly moving up the ladder from office to office taking down some offices and letting others get a pass, hoping to confuse the wise guys. It had proven to be effective.
You may remember Jimmy Katz who testified he was paying rent to Winter Hilll and his partner Michael Desotel, who Jimmy said was paying tribute to the North End. You’ll also hear from Joey Yerardi who will testify how he was John Martorano’s guy. These were the guys I was listening to on the wire. Naimovich was leading the investigation. The FBI had now decided to target Naimovich for leaking top secret stuff to Vinny Ferrara.
Prior to Mattioli being put in charge of the SSU, the information relative to whose lines we were listening to was limited to a small group of troopers under Sgt. Bob Haley in the SSU who were doing the surveillance and monitoring. Haley I had worked with before and knew he was totally trustworthy. As I said things had gone very well up to that point. But when Matioli took over he would have access to the SSU guys and their information. He planted his own guys into our operation. I assume he also passed on the identify of our targets to Ring’s C-3 unit.