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 a member of the DOJ, Strike Force Chief, Jeremiah O’Sullivan, 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. They were willing for him to do up to twenty years in prison to help keep their gangster on the street. )
Those who have come recently to this blog may have heard the name John Naimovich. Who is that you may wonder and how does he fit here? I didn’t intend to talk about him at this time but having Lt. Bobby Long, Col. Tom Foley and Bookie Jimmy Katz as the first three witnesses in the government’s case made me want to tell a quick outline of his story. Some of it plays into the things we are learning at this trial.
It’s really all because of Naimovich this blog exists. Naimovich was a Massachusetts state trooper who was indicted by the federals for a RICO offense in 1988. It was alleged that this trooper of 23 years service almost all of it dealing with investigating organized crime had suddenly late in his career gone over to the dark side. He allegedly took money, five hundred dollars, near Christmas on three consecutive years, which was passed to him under a table at a restaurant according to a story told by a bookie Francis McIntyre, a knave – may he be forever dishonored – in exchange for giving him inside information on state police and federal operations.
The transaction was witnessed by no other person. The absurdity of the allegation that Naimovich who could have made tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousand, if he were so inclined to become corrupt would be taking chicken feed money from a low-level bookie apparently didn’t bother the federals. They wanted him no matter how absurd the charge. And remember, at this time no one thought the federals were other than next to the angels.
McIntye’s story is typical of what we saw when Jimmy Katz testified. Jimmy whose profession was a bookie and whose only hobby was gambling was indicted at least a couple of times by me for bookmaking when I caught him on my wiretaps. He ended up paying a fine or doing a short bit of time. Booking was a crime but one which all the parties consented to being involved in. One of the major abettors of the bookmakers were the local media who had pages after pages filled with the line on every game and the over/under and columnists talking about “best bets” and otherwise helping the general public place winning bets. It was never considered a major crime but we went after the bookies because gaming was illegal and we hoped to get information against others who were involved in the violence end of the business.
When the federals got Jimmy, they piled on him money laundering and other charges that sent him to prison for 4 years and they had a forfeiture placed on him of a million dollars. He was then brought back to a grand jury where he refused to rat out anyone and given another 18 months for contempt. As Jimmy said, the 18 months was dead time, he’d have to serve that before he went back to serving his 4 year sentence.
Under the federals Jimmy was facing 5 and a half years and his house in Randolph was going to be seized and his wife and children put out on the street. Jimmy was looking at 5 1/2 years of what he called boredom and seeing his family without a house getting by on welfare and food stamps. This was because he took bets over the telephone from people who wanted to place them with him. He never engaged in any violence, but had, as we learned from his testimony, been told by violent men he could only engage in his business if he paid them tribute.
But there was a way out of this big pickle – all Jimmy had to do was tell Freddy Wyshak what the wanted to hear and if Wyshak thought it amounted to “substantial assistance,” Jimmy could walk out the door, save his family, get a new identity and a little help starting his new life. Wyshak wanted to know the names of those violent men who Jimmy had to pay to engage in his occupation.
Wyhsak under the federal criminal laws had the power to take a bookie and make him into a major felon who would end up facing a heavy bit without parole; he also has the power to take a guy like Kevin Weeks who murdered five people, was a multi-year leg breaker and shylock, and a life-long violent criminal and have him serve less time than Jimmy would have served had he done the full bit.
Anyway it’s a strange system we live under that can do that but that’s the system that McIntyre another bookie found himself caught up in when the federals did a wiretap on him (since when did the federals get interested in wiretapping local bookies) and found him engaged in what a bookie would do which is taking bets. But the federals weren’t after McIntryre, they were after John Naimovich.
But why are they after this trooper with an unblemished record? How it came about will really surprised you.
The FBI agents 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 at Whitey’s trial. 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 John 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 Bulger 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.
People still argue today about how it happened that Whitey and Stevie knew about that bug. Some point to the crass Richard Schneiderhan who was a state trooper in the Attorney General’s office who was leaking information to his life-long friend Stevie Flemmi; others blame an Israeli private investigator skilled at installing electronics (who I worked with for years and had no problems) because he later did some work for the Patriarca family; but I have no doubt it was O’Sullivan because too much was at stake for him to let the state police succeed.
What also gives credence to my belief is that the FBI and the gangsters knew at the same time about the bug. Corrupt FBI agent John Morris asked a Boston Police sergeant at an after work party when he had a wine or two if the state police had something going on at Lancaster Street. At the same time it was apparent the bug had been compromised. When confronted as to how he knew, Morris made up obvious lies, some of which he later admitted to after he knew they could not stand up.
Maybe O’Sullivan had no choice since the consequences for him were so dire. Down the road his FBI wiretap succeeded to great acclaim and was held up as the way law enforcement should work. The local media played up the FBI’s accomplishments. But even with that, we heard testimony by O’Sullivan before a congressional committee that the special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office gave him a dressing down for daring to help the state police.
I’ve often wondered how O’Sullivan could sit there and not tell the state cops he was up to his eyebrows doing the same thing they were doing only they were six months ahead of him. Isn’t that just one of the indications of his intent to undermine them? Sometimes silence when words should be spoken tells the whole story. O’Sullivan sitting silently let them believe he would help them when he should have told them up front he could do nothing for them.
His problem was compounded by the adamant refusal of the state police to work with the FBI. They knew the FBI could not be trusted when it came to Whitey or Stevie. After the leak was known, they had a meeting of all involved. The state police put in on the FBI blaming them for undermining their investigation. O’Sulllivan sat through that meeting and again kept his peace. The FBI would turn around after the meeting and write a report saying the state police were blaming them because it was covering up for two of its trooper who were suspected of being too close to gangsters.
After that relations between the FBI and state police soured even more. Morris’s testimony during the trial had them being not so good even before that time. That’s another story how that came about but it revolves around a gangster named Myles Connor and the Norfolk DA’s office.
The bottom line was that the FBI knew the state police had almost bested them in 1980 – they were determined that it would never happen again. Not by working harder. Rather by controlling the state police.
In the mid-Eighties the FBI had great influence over the state police operations. Some of its agents like Dennis M. Condon took over positions such as Deputy Public Safety Secretary. The state police operated under the control of the Public Safety Department.
At some point, it was decided that the FBI would in effect take over the state police organized crime operations. Some geniuses in the state police hierarchy liked the idea so a unit was formed where the state police and FBI would work together doing OC stuff. This unit, like those joint terrorism task forces (JTTF), is a way the FBI keeps control of everything that is being done by the state and locals so that nothing will happen that will embarrass it.
It was into that joint task force that young trooper Foley gladly became a member thinking it a great feather in his cap to be working hand-in-hand with these agents. Foley was a witting participant in all their schemes. When he became older and wiser he realized how many times the FBI had been working against what the state police were trying to do and became disillusioned with it. He’d leave that unit and over time rise, like Charlie Henderson, to the top spot on his job.
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.
Foley said in his book that around October 1986 he 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.
He did however give a copy of his reports 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 walking out 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 reports; being directed by Mattioli to show them to only one person, Trooper Naimovich.; nor did he seem to catch on if that had he only briefed Naimovich on them, there wuld be 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 informant files and the identities of the targets we were listening to on the wiretap we were doing 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.
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 had been raided by Naimovich. These were the guys I was listening to on the wire. Naimovich was leading the investigation. .
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. I had worked with Haley 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.
Dates are important for understanding the true impact of what happened here. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Decisions are made with other factors in mind. In court we hear about something happening. We get a limited picture of what else played into bringing it about. Writers of books can conflate events or leave them vague or use wrong dates so that the story told to us is skewed a certain way to confuse or deceive the reader.
Foley wrote about the meeting he had with FBI Supervisor James Ring. He said he felt he was being accused as being the one responsible for leaking information to Vinny Ferrara. He told us how relieved he felt that he was able to shift the blame from himself onto John Naimovich. He said that meeting happened in October, 1986. It actually happened in October or November 1987, a year later.
He also wrote about the discussion that took place at that time noting: “Whoever was leaking the information we had about the LCN most likely wasn’t going straight to Ferrara with it. He was going through a middleman. Ring believed that this person was a small-time bookie named Franny McIntyre who paid tribute regularly to Ferrara.” The FBI did not know about McIntyre until the fall of 1987.
In April of 1987, 7 months before the Foley and Ring meeting, Sgt Bob Haley and John Naimovich of the state police’s SSU unit came to me. They asked if I’d be interested in doing a gaming wiretap. I agreed. Bob left Naimovich in charge of it to work with me.
The law is that a prosecutor must supervise the wiretaps. Other DAs let the police officers run them. Naimovich was so experience in this area that he was used to taking over and doing that. I took the law very seriously and kept very close supervision over them. This wasn’t exactly to Naimovich’s liking but he knew without me it couldn’t be done.
In the early days I would spend all my extra time at the plant where the wiretap was being operated to ensure things were done right. Being at the plant allowed me to begin writing the affidavits for the subsequent investigative steps and get familiar with the players who we were chasing. As time passed and my trial and administrative responsibilities grew, I couldn’t spend as much time as I’d like at a plant.
Doing this wiretap with the SSU and Naimovich made me comfortable. I skipped going to the plant knowing it would be operated in accordance with the law and the court order. I insisted though that Naimovich meet with me early each morning to go over things that happened the day before and to work on our strategy. He’d bring me copies of the tapes, the logs and surveillance reports.
We started off with a wiretap on a low-level bookie office in Plainville from May 19 to June 2, 1987; we jumped a little higher to another office in Mansfield from June 23 to July 7, 1987; from there we moved to a Walpole gaming office that was a little bigger which we intercepted from July 6 to July 30, 1987; on August 10 we moved onto another step on the ladder to a Sharon office that we stayed on until September 8, 1987.
I learned from the testimony of Jimmy Katz that we were playing around on the edges of the big time since we were on offices under the umbrella of Whitey and Stevie. Whatever we did to their offices would cost them money. If we took any legal action that required lawyers that would even cost more.
We then jumped squarely into the hornet’s nest. We were about to disclose our hand. We were going to start hitting their pocket-book. As you know the thing that hurts a gangster most, aside from prison, is to have to pay out money.
On September 22 to October 16, 1987, we moved over to a major office in Dedham. Just before or shortly after we got up on it, we conducted raids on several of the gaming locations on which we had developed probable cause from our previous taps. Our strategy was not to make arrests but to seize paraphernalia which showed evidence of gaming. We figured this would confuse the bookies. Rather than receiving a pair of cuffs they received a subpoena to the grand jury on October 8 and October 21, 1987.
Keep in mind, that the SSU was a separate unit that did not tell others on their job what they were doing. My office had a procedure where I, one secretary, Sheila, and perhaps one other ADA and the DA would know what we were doing. Neither the FBI nor the gangsters had any reach into our operations. (One FBI agent would libel us by saying in a report we were leaking things to the gangsters.)
Once we sprung into action, it seemed others did also. Eugene David Mattioli, a captain on the state police, in charge of its intelligence unit, had been working with the FBI’s C-3 unit since 1984. He was about to receive a new assignment. On October 18, 1987, he was put in charge of the SSU unit giving him access to its files and to the wiretaps I was working on. He said he first was informed he was going to take command about two-week prior to that. That was shortly after we had our raids.
He said the idea of him taking command came up about a month or six weeks prior to him taking over. Even assuming it was six weeks, that seems an awfully short time to make a decision to impact the way the SSU traditionally operated, especially in a bureaucracy. The SSU was the state police’s most aggressive unit and was in the middle of an involved wiretap that had been ongoing since May. What was the reason for this reorganization? What was the rush?
No one ever explained why the reorganization happened out of the blue. No one ever knew why a guy with no experience in gaming operations was put in charge of the most successful police anti-gaming unit in Massachusetts. Was it a coincidence that the guy who spent years working with the FBI C-3 squad was put in charge of the SSU shortly after it appeared they were striking hard at the organization of its favorite top echelon informants?
At the meeting in late fall 1987 between Foley and Ring we were told Ring said the leak to Ferrara “was a small time bookie named Franny McIntyre.” Foley would continue to write saying: “Mattioli checked later, and Naimovich was indeed using McIntyre. It seemed to fit. The only people who had access to the information given to Ferrara were Gianturco, Naimovich and me. Even Jimmy [White his partner on the state police] didn’t know everything. If Nick had been cleared, that left just Naimovich and me. And I knew it wasn’t me.”
What is most telling about all of this is the way that the FBI first said McIntyre’s name became known to it. During the Vanessa wiretap one conversation overheard on December 22, 1986 was among the Mafia gangsters, Vincent Ferrara, Robert Carrozza, Angelo Mercuri and Dennis Lepore who “discussed collecting money from known bookmakers whose names were discussed.” One name mention was “Franny Mac.” On June 16, 1987, search warrants issued. Among the items seized was an address book belonging to Vinny Ferrara. In it was the name “Franny Mac” and the telephone number listed to him at his home in Canton.
What we don’t know is how among the many names were mentioned by the Mafia gangsters. There had to be hundreds of names and telephone numbers found in Ferrara’s address book and the address books of others, James Ring of the FBI turned the spotlight on Franny McIntyre as the leak to Ferrara.
Seriously, there had to be hundreds of people who the FBI could have figured was the leak. Out of the blue Ring decides it is McIntyre. Search as I may, I can’t see how he made that connection. No once explains it It’s as if he had one of those wizard’s crystal ball’s and the name materialized. And it appears, neither Mattioli or Foley like “good soldiers” asked what made them suspect McIntyre.
Now let me ask, did you pick up Foley’s statement, “Matioli checked later, and Naimovich was indeed using McIntyre?” He doesn’t tell us when he checked and what he found Naimovich was using McIntyre for? It’s a telling statement because it obscures the truthful story of what happened.
Apparently Mattioli checked the toll records of telephone calls on McIntyre’s telephone. He saw on them that there were communications between McIntyre and Naimovich. He testified he immediately thought when seeing it that there was something wrong. He never bothered to ask about it. Had he, he would have learned McIntyre was Naimovich’s informant. This was known by then Major Charlie Henderson and Sergeant Bob Haley.
Mattioli testified that there might be a handler/informant relationship never crossed his mind. This from a guy who is put in charge of a unit that deals regularly with informants. It seems like willful ignorance. Nor did it cross the mind of his sidekick Foley that McIntyre was Naimovich’s informant. Neither one could figure that a trooper with Naimovich’s experience if he was doing something wrong would not be using toll calls from his home to communicate with someone he did not want people to know he was in contact with.
If there’s anything one first learns in doing organize crime investigations, the first thing you do is pull telephone toll records to make connections between and among people. Naimovich left a trail as bright as the tail of a comet entering the atmosphere of his telephonic relationship with McIntyre and Mattioli and Foley think they have found something incriminating relating to this trooper with 23 years experience mostly doing wiretaps.
Foley continued: “To figure out what was going on, Ring and Mattioli decided to set up a top-secret internal investigation to see what Naimovich was up to. . . . If Naimovich knew he was under surveillance, he’d stop dead — and, if he was indeed guilty, he’d tip of the LCN ruining everything.”
Foley writes on, “The plan was for Mattioli and Sergeant (?) Sullivan to be the inside guys. . . watching everything he did, who he saw, what numbers he called. . . . without letting Naimovich have any idea. They’d need others to handle the outside work, which was everywhere Naimovich went when he wasn’t in the office. The FBI . . . agents would need help tailing him and keeping track of everyone he saw. Mattioli figured there were only two of us who could handle that. Me and Jimmy [White].”
He then tells us: “Poor lumbering bastard, Naimovich had no idea what was happening to him.” Sadly, neither did utterly naive Foley who was being gamed by the FBI. He had no idea how to do a bookie investigation or work with gaming informants. He could have saved a lot of time trailing Naimovich by figuring that McIntyre was Naimovich’s informant.
Yeah, you should feel sorry for Naimovich. He had guys on his job who were working next to him who were betraying him and undermining a long-term gaming investigation that was heading straight at Whitey and Flemmi.
As Captain Mattioli was watching and trying to set Naimovich up from inside; Tom Foley and his partner were tracking his every movement outside. While they were busy doing this, the FBI was readying an affidavit to go up on the telephone of McIntyre.
The affidavit with respect to Naimovich shows that he is in contact with McIntyre. It talks about a wiretap on Vanessa’s Restaurant in the Prudential Center and how it was tipped off noting McIntyre’s name was mentioned as paying rent. Mattioli would testify in the grand jury on February 2, 1988, that Naimovich being in the same unit that did Vanessa’s would have had information on that wiretap but that was later proven to be false. The affidavit mentioned the incident Foley talked about that kicked off the investigation of Naimovich that he had leaked the report to Vinny Ferrara another falsehood.
It also contained information of conversations between Foley and Naimovich. Foley was trying to set up Naimovich. One related to the incident that started the investigation. The other was on November 2,1987, both were doing the monitoring on my wiretap.
I mentioned how we were tapping on a Dedham office up to October 16 and how we issued grand jury subpoenas. I didn’t mention that we went from Dedham over to another location. I wanted to save this for here so you’d have a better sense of what was going on.
On October 24 we went up on the Milton home of Abe Sarkas. Abe has been mentioned in the Whitey trial as the guy who ran all the booking for the Boston Mafia’s Larry Zannino. We’d stay up on that phone until December 14; we went up on Mel Berger’s phone in Newton, Mel was the man at the top of the Jewish bookmaking empire who was also mentioned during the trial and stayed up between November 1 through December 14; and we put a bug in Abe Sarkas’s office between November 24 and December 9. We are knocking at the door of the leaders of organized crime including Whitey and Stevie.
Meanwhile Foley who is supposed to be working on these top guys is running a different operation. To this date I don’t think either Mattioli or Foley had a clue as to the level of organize crime we were at. Their interest was getting Naimovich.
The FBI affidavit stated that on November 2 Foley and Naimovich were working together. They were both doing the monitoring of the phones of Abe Sarkas’s home up to midnight. That was not in the affidavit. The affidavit reads that Foley gave Naimovich details about a state police investigation into “a barbooth game being conducted in Haverhill.” at the “Coffee House and the Bacuso Club.” It went on to say that Foley had an informant who told him that a few hours after his conversation with Naimovich at 4:00 a.m. the Haverhill police told the people at the Coffee House who were playing the game to “stop playing for a while.” Two days late Naimovich overheard Foley telling another trooper they were stopping their investigation of the barbooth games, and they started up again.
Obviously the judge is to believe Naimovich tipped off that after hours game in some joint in Haverhill. Of course, the judge had no idea that Naimovich is doing a wiretap at top levels of organized crime. He’d have found it absurd to think that in the middle of that he’d somehow have been worried that some muffs in Haverhill were being investigated for a dice or card game. Apparently Foley thought he had a gem even though there was no other connection shown between Naimovich and Haverhill, Foley was willing to give this trite information to prove his worth to the FBI.
Foley in his book tells us the FBI put a bug on McIntyre’s phone (this didn’t happen until December 21, 1987 – nor do you put bugs on phones). He wrote, “John Connolly did a few shifts, to keep his hand in,but he was always a man on the go.”
We see Whitey and Stevie’s handler right in the middle of it. We also see the slap at Connolly, “he was always a man on the go,” as the appropriate distancing himself from a POOF. He’ll do that a couple of other times his book.
Foley continued by writing that rather than doing what he should have been doing going after top organized crime figures, “Jimmy and I tailed Naimovich when he hit the road. . . . We stuck to the investigation around the clock for a couple of months. We didn’t get very much but we did get something — Naimovich taking small amounts of money from McIntyre.” These months are November and December, 1987, and perhaps January, 1988.
Foley’s statement was true in one respect, “We didn’t get very much.”
But can’t keep himself from dissembling by adding, “but we did get something — Naimovich taking small amounts of money from McIntyre.”
Why would Foley write that when it never happened? Neither he or Mattioli ever testified to that. There was an allegation that McIntyre gave money to Naimovich. That came from McIntyre who made it up on February 2, 1988, the day Naimovich was indicted. McIntyre was given a choice by Jeremiah O’Sullivan (the same choice given to Jimmy Katz) — big time in prison, lose all your assets, get hit with a huge fine, and see your wife and kids out on the street — or give us something on Naimovich.
The truth is that during the two plus months Foley and White trailed Naimovich they came up with nothing; neither did Captain Mattioli and Sergeant Sullivan who were watching him in the office. Foley candidly admits that what they came up with failed to support the charge that launched the investigation that Naimovich was supplying information about Forte’s movements to Vinny Ferrara.
They did such a thorough investigation that they couldn’t figure out that McIntyre was Naimovich’s informant. All they had to do was ask Bob Haley, the sergeant who worked with Naimovich on a daily basis, or if they didn’t trust him for whatever imaginable reason for he was beyond reproach, they could check with Major Charlie Henderson who had been Naimovich’s boss for many years. Both men knew of that relationship. That they failed in this fundamental step shows something else was afoot. They must have been told not to inquire of that being directed in a sinister manner by the FBI.
Foley writes in his book that he presented the paucity of the information he discovered after his two month investigation to Jim Ring, the FBI supervisor. Ring takes his time to look at what they gave him. There is nothing to support any allegation of wrongdoing by Naimovich. When he finishes reading it, Foley writes Ring says, “Excellent.”
As he’s leaving Foley hears Ring say to Agent Gianturco, “Now we have to take care of our problem.”
Foley doesn’t give us dates so I assume this all happened before the federals rushed to indict Naimovich on February 2, 1988.
An investigation is started mysteriously on the supposition that a small time bookie is leaking information to Vinny Ferrara, a Mafia leader. Telephone records show the bookie is openly in contact with 23 year trooper John Naimovich who does gaming investigations. No one asks why a trooper whose job requires him to have bookie informants is in contact with the bookie. A two month investigation is done. Nothing is found. The FBI finds the results are excellent.
The FBI presented an affidavit to a judge to get a wiretap. It was full of half-truths. It left out more than it disclosed to the judge. It put in things that happened that they did not connect to Naimovich. In effect it said McIntyre is a bookie, in the past we think we have had investigations compromised by law enforcement, McIntyre talks to state trooper Naimovich on the phone, therefore Naimovich must have given McIntyre information which he passed on to Mafia people. Truly, that’s about all it said.
After the federals did the wiretap on McIntyre, on Friday evening, January 29, 1988, they raided his house. They told him they had him cold on the wiretap, that he was going to be indicted for racketeering, and wanted to know what he had to say. He gave them a statement that ran five pages. That statement had been hidden from defense counsel until after McIntyre testified. Judge Tauro allowed McIntyre to be called back by defense counsel later in the trial to be cross-examined about it.
The statement showed that Friday evening they asked McIntyre if he knew Naimovich. McIntyre admitted he knew him. He said he met him in 1983 and that he had agreed to be an informant and had been an informant. They asked him if he knew anything about law enforcement corruption. He said no. They told him he had to meet with Jeremiah O’Sullivan the next day, a Saturday.
When McIntyre testified at the trial he said he had no memory of that meeting with O’Sullivan. But it did happen as Captain Mattioli and an FBI agent testified at 10.00 am. There was no written report of that meeting as far as I can tell. Through testimony it was pointed out that O’Sullivan told McIntyre he did not believe his prior night’s statement and he was going to put him in prison a long time and take all his assets, a similar pitch to what Wyshak gave to Jimmy Katz. He said if McIntyre would become a witness against Naimovich, he wouldn’t take any assets and his sentence would be negligible. McIntyre had to go home and think whether he wanted to impoverish his family or put a cop in prison and come back with a new tale, different from the one he told the night his house was raided.
We heard when Whitey made his statement in court telling the judge why he would not testify he said: “I’ve been choked off from having an opportunity to give an adequate defense and explain about my conversation and agreement with Jeremiah O’Sullivan. For my protection of his life, in return, he promised to give me immunity.” The Boston Herald in an editorial said of the claim: “What a guy, that Whitey, “protecting” a fed! And if you believe that, have you heard the one about how he kept the drugs out of Southie, too?” Kevin Cullen noted that: “Whitey babbled on about some story of how he promised to keep Jerry O’Sullivan from getting whacked by Mafia guys and O’Sullivan “promised to give me immunity.”
However Peter Gelzinis of the Herald had a more temporized statement: “Whitey-as-bodyguard defense. I imagine he was suggesting he made a pact with O’Sullivan to protect him against the Italian gunsels in the North End.”
I was far from skeptical of his claim. We see that O’Sullivan is behind the case against Naimovich. What is it that motivates the head of the federal strike force to personally meets a low-level bookie on a Saturday morning the day after a raid on his house to threaten him. Nothing that has happened in this case to this point fits with what is normal. Yet it gets even more strange as it goes on.
The big thing at this point that stands out is the huge rush and the failure of an experienced prosecutor to do what should have been done in this case. As an experienced prosecutor one knows that it is a bedrock principle that if you are going to take a shot at a king you better make sure it kills him
Translated it means you don’t go after a person who is not a known criminal, especially one who is in a position of prominence as a person in a high position in society or a state trooper with 23 years experience, unless you have enough evidence to crush him. Here the next logical step if they really believed Naimovich was corrupt was to go up on his telephones to intercept his conversations and to continue with the in-house surveillance that had so far shown nothing.
Rather than doing a thorough investigation to nail down the case, in this instance with the wiretap ongoing on McIntryre’s home they conduct a raid on January 29, 1988. Nothing up to that time on the wiretap had gives them the critical evidence that they needed. The raid is followed by an unusual pre-arranged Saturday morning meeting with the head of the Organized Crime Strike force, O’Sullivan. He’s before a grand jury on February 2 and gets an indictment. It took O’Sullivan three years after the bug on Angiulo’s office to get an indictment. Normally it takes weeks if not months. But here with the wiretap ongoing, or at least it was three days before, O’Sullivan is in the grand jury getting an indictment.
But there is more to this which I know about. During my wiretaps as I moved up the organize crime ladder I had contact with O’Sullivan by telephone. I called him once, maybe more, because I wanted to learn the names of the guys who were believed to be running the Boston Mafia since the Angiulos and Larry Baione had been incarcerated. I needed them so I could plant the names on the bookies I was bringing into the grand jury sessions hoping to get them talking about these guys. If they did I hoped to hear some of the discussions over my wires and bug.
I told O’Sullivan generally what I was doing. I told him I was on the wires and of my plan to plant the names so I would get the feed back. O’Sullivan knew my taps had gone to levels that endangered Whitey. He should have known that I never would have been at that level were Naimovich in any way corrupt. Yet he was hell-bent on indicting Naimovich.
Of course I too was not trusted by O’Sullivan. He knew I was working with Naimvoich but never let me know he was operating against him. I never knew a thing about him doing this until the day Naimovich was arrested and I picked up the telephone to call him to tell him the federals had made a big mistake in doing that.
I had been informed of Naimovich’s arrest when Rick Zebrasky, a state police lieutenant who was in charge of my drug task force and who knew I was working on the wiretap with Naimovich, called me early in that February 3rd on my private land line. First words out of his mouth, “guess who just got arrested.” After he told me I reached out to others on the state side to see what I could learn about it. No one either knew or wanted to say too much. You have to understand that in 1988 everyone lived in mortal fear of the FBI. I called one captain who couldn’t wait to hang up on me. The best I was able to find out was it had something to do with him giving things to organized crime people.
I immediately thought it was related to the grand jury hearings where I had told Naimovich as part of our plan to try to flip some of the guys it would be all right to return some of the things we seized from them. We had Jimmy Katz’s glasses and shoes since he ran out of the back door of the bookie office that the state police hit before they could get through the front door leaving them behind. I also told him he could give them copies of cuff sheets.
After learning what I could, I called O’Sullivan to tell him if that’s what they thought he had done that was criminal it wasn’t since I authorized it. O’Sullivan listened to me and said it was no mistake. It was not that. He said Naimovich has been leaking things to the Mafia for years and he has been suspected of doing it for a long time. I got the impression from my call that they had a ton of evidence against him which went back a long time. He was obviously lying to me. But why? Why didn’t he trust me to ask me what I thought about Naimovich, or to tell me I was working with a guy they thought was a leak, or then dissemble when I called him.
Why was everything that he was doing far removed from normal. It was so far removed that when he presented the case to the grand jury that Tuesday, February 3, 1988, he never told the jurors that Naimovich and McIntyre had a trooper/informant relationship. He knew about it on January 29, 1988 for sure. He could have learned about it in October 1987 had he taken the basic investigatory steps one would take. He would not tell the jurors even after one of them asked the question whether there was some type of activity going on the jurors weren’t being told about.
Nothing fits! Yet it gets worse.
Captain Mattioli would get the warrant for Naimovich’s arrest on February 2, 1988. He had scheduled an office meeting of all the troopers under his command for the morning of February 3. Trooper Foley was there along with his partner. So was Naimovich. When everyone was assembled Mattioli placed Naimovich under arrest so that he could humiliate him in front of the rest of the troopers. 23 years on the job and treated worse than some criminal scum. He was then handcuffed and transported to the Boston federal building. Some said Mattioli then told the troopers who had worked with Naimovich they would best seek transfer out of the unit.
It was big news in the media. Naimovich and I would talk over the phone a few times following his arrest. I told him we could not speak about the case because the federals would drag me in as a witness to testify against him if he said anything to me. He indicated that he thought his arrest was all a big mistake since the guy he had been talking to on the phone was his informant. He’d tell me he was mostly hurt by the way some on the state police had treated him. He told me that they gathered up all his personal stuff and just dumped it into a duffel bag and handed it to him.
I had occasion to go to Framingham to teach a class to state troopers on discovery in criminal cases a short time after that. At the end of the class I told those in attendance that they probably heard Naimovich had been arrested but I assured them he did nothing wrong and would be acquitted. I understood this caused an uproar within the state police. I was no longer welcome to teach there.
O’Sullivan would go back to the grand jury again after February 2 to present additional evidence. He would eventually seek a superseding indictment against Naimovich. In the meantime Naimovich went around trying to find good lawyers to represent him. I recommended one but Naimovich decided he did not want to be represented by any lawyer no matter how good he was if he had previously represented organize crime people. So he was not going to use any of the top-level lawyers even though his freedom was at risk because he had been chasing after organized crime people for years. Fortunately, he did come up with two top-notch lawyers who fit within his criteria, Tommy Dreschler and Alex Nappin.
During the time Naimovich is waiting to go to trial, other things were happening outside the criminal litigation. For that I have to return to Tom Foley’s book. By the way, throughout all this remember Foley is a young trooper who is being used by the FBI and his captain. He tells us about Naimovich’s arrest and says. “I get sick thinking about it.”
But Foley starts smelling a rat. He debriefed McIntyre but got little from his to support the idea that launched the investigation that McIntrye passed information from Naimovich to Ferrara about Forte. He says, “I pressed him hard on this, but the FBI agent I was working with, Vince DelaMontagne, didn’t seem to care whether McIntyre had leaked it or not. It was odd, like he was bored with the whole thing.”
Foley’s bothered by this. Out having a couple of pops with some FBI agents he mentions that he doesn’t think Naimovich had anything to do with passing information to Ferrara. They just shrug. Foley said it was like they knew there was nothing to it all along. More and more it bothers him and he went to Captain Mattioli complaining it didn’t seem the evidence was there to hold Naimovich. Mattioli assured him the FBI must have it.
Mattioli arranged for the FBI Supervisor James Ring to visit with them in Framingham the next day. Foley expected he’d hear what the evidence was that the FBI had that he did not know about. Ring went into Mattioli’s office and Foley was left cooling his heels outside for a half an hour.
When he was invited in he noticed Ring seemed uncomfortable. Ring finally laid it out for Foley: “we’ve determined that Trooper Naimovich was not the source of information that was passed to Vinny Ferrara.”
Foley was flabbergasted. Even worse, he found out that they knew that shortly after they sicced him on Naimovich and prior to any charges. Ring said the source of the information was a typist in the FBI stenographer’s pool.
Foley hit the roof and Ring told him to calm down or he “could get Nick in serious trouble.” Nick was the FBI agent who was his partner. Foley fired back, “I’m not going to send a guy to jail just to be nice to somebody else.”
Foley would write that the FBI turned that information over to the defense counsel. That’s questionable. The trial would show the prosecutors presented the case as if Naimovich was the leak.
Foley knows the affidavit for the wiretap contained information indicating Naimovich was the leak to Ferrara even though the FBI knew it was false. Foley said the jurors were baffled because the informant rules were not clear and that’s why they cleared Naimovich. He mistates what happened in the case. The allegation by McIntyre that he paid Naimovich money had nothing to do with informant rules. (I will spell out the evidence that was given at a later date.) It wasn’t confusion over informant rules but a total disbelief in the case against Naimovich on the RICO offenses that caused the jury verdict of not guilty.
The informant issue only arose on the question of whether Naimovich aided McIntyre in running his booking operation by giving him some information. On that one count the jury did not reach a conclusion and a mistrial was declared. The federals threatened to try Naimovich again on that charge unless he resigned from the state police. He did not want to go through the expense and pressure of another trial. He had become bitter with the state police by that point and he refused to take his pension. The abandonment by people he thought were his friends for 23 years who threw him to the FBI wolves made him totally disillusioned.
With him off the force, the FBI succeeded in keeping Whitey and Stevie safe. An investigation which began with a ruse, which was rushed to indictment, and had so many unusual happenings spelled out above could only lead to that conclusion that Naimovich was sacrificed by O’Sullivan to protect those murderous criminals.
But why was O’Sullivan so deeply interested in taking Naimovich down that he took these unusual including lying to me and deceiving the grand jury. Was it because O’Sullivan made a deal with Whitey that he’d protect him if Whitey protected him from the Mafia? Was Whitey truly deprived of a valid defense as he claimed when he called the trial a sham that so many in the media have said is absurd? Does anything else make sense?