As you’ll read in my book “Don’t Embarrass The Family” I attended the trial of John Connolly because I never could figure out why the feds indicted John Naimovich the Massachusetts State Trooper. I thought as part of the trial they’d be a discussion of that case. It never happened.
The reason for this is that the trial was strange in one respect, neither side wanted to get into much of what went on in the FBI. It seemed the government strategy was to pretend that only Connolly was to blame for the existence of Whitey and Stevie and limit its case to things surrounding those individuals. In defending himself, Connolly didn’t want to open up the bag of worms by painting the FBI in a bad light fearing that if he made the Bureau look bad he would make himself look bad.
I found the trial interesting for a thousand other reasons but I never got out of it what I was looking for, the reason behind picking out Naimovich to be indicted. I had a sense that he was targeted but as I’ve said I had this gut feeling from working with him, which eventually proved right, that he had done nothing wrong. The more I learned about his case the more I could see that a decision was made to go after Naimovich prior to the time the federal government had any evidence of wrongdoing on his part.
It is something that I’ve found hard to accept that the federal government picked as a target a state trooper who had been on the job for 23 years who did not have a hint of a scandal or any taint of corruption surrounding him and decided they were going to make a case against him. Out of the blue, as if turning a roulette wheel with the names of state police on it, the FBI had it stop on Naimovich and said that’s who we are going to get.
I guess that’s why after all these years it still boggles my mind that such a thing could happen. What’s more astounding is no one else seemed bothered by it. No one! Everyone on Naimovich’s job was content to see him leave the job and just go away. When I’d mention him to other cops or reporters they’d just yawn. It was, as my secretary Sheila Craven who worked typing up all of Naimovich’s lengthy affidavits would say to me whenever I brought it up, “ancient history”.
How could it be? If the FBI can do this to a state trooper how much more easily could it be done to some bloke who happens to incur its displeasure?
I’m sure you’re reading this with a bit of skepticism thinking it just couldn’t have happened. Listen to me out and then make up your mind.
The last few Wednesdays I’ve been posting on Naimovich so to get the background you can go there. Now I want to try to talk about Naimovich being targeted.
(Oh, and while I’m talking about this remember what I wrote previously how the FBI has new rules that allow agents to target people without any evidence they committed a crime. The FBI can just go after you, look at your bank accounts and other personal records, just to see if they can find something on you. And what’s great about it from the FBI agent’s point of view, they don’t even have to open a case file. Yes, you can be investigated without ever knowing about it and some FBI agent can walk around with all your personal information in his pocket even though you’ve been squeaky clean all your life and if you ever wonder about it there will be no record that it happened.)
Keep in mind Naimovich has been involved in organized crime investigations for at least 12 or more years as part of the state police Special Services Unit. Every investigation he’s been in has come out well. He has a stellar record of taking down bookies and is considered the foremost expert in electronic surveillance in the state police. He’s been working with me for over six months in 1987 and we’ve gone right up the ladder to the top of an organized gaming ring that may reach right into the heart of the North End or Whitey’s Winter Hill group.
Prior to that time the FBI and state police were working on two other investigations: one involves Heller’s, a joint in Chelsea where the bookies washed their money, and the other Vanessa’s, a place in the Prudential Center where the new Mafia leaders were gatheringing to make plans. Naimovich is involved in the Heller’s investigation and from that has the ability to know that there is an investigation at Vanessa’s, At Naimovich’s trial the FBI said the Heller’s investigation was not successful because they didn’t get everything they thought they’d get even though they grabbed over on hundred thousand dollars and filled fifteen pages listing items they seized. The results of Vanessa’s showed that the wise guys may have suspected they were being intercepted. I’ll get into those later even though now it is clear the leak came from within the FBI.
Trooper Foley first knows of the FBI interest in investigating Naimovich when FBI Supervisor Ring tells him that secret information he had compiled ended up in the hands of an OC big wig Vinny Ferrara. (It was leaked by a FBI stenographer. The FBI knew this at the time or shortly after it confronted Foley. It never told Foley about it until months later.) Foley is ordered into Ring’s office where he finds Ring and his boss Lieutenant Mattioli. He is questioned by Ring about this information in Ferrara’s hands. He felt he was being accused. Ring let him sweat a bit. He then asked him if he showed the information to anyone. Foley had to tax his memory to remember if he did. He recalled that his boss Mattioli had ordered him to show Naimovich the information. It seems clear that Mattioli and Ring were playing a game with Foley because they already knew he had shown it to Naimovicht. When Foley threw up Naimovich’s name he felt a great relief that he was no longer suspect. He was taken in, hook, line and sinker, ready to do anything to prove his bone fides.
I’d guess Ring and Mattioli conspired to have Foley show that information to Naimovich, scare him, and then forgive him. It’s probably they knew Ferrara had possession of the information before they told Foley to show it to Naimovich. Foley is unclear about the dates.
I say this because the investigation seemed to consist of planting things on Naimovich. They’d then try to show that what Naimovich was told ended up in the wrong hands. Next week I’ll show how desperate they became to show Naimovich was a leak and the preposterous scenario Foley concocted.