John Naimovich – An Insight Into The Whitey Bulger Case: Part 7

DSC_0201(This is being published each Sunday in serial form. For full view of past postings go here. )

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 nor 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.




  1. Matt,

    In Part 6, you are writing about a change that would come about in a unit in which you were involved. It sounds like you and Naimovich were methodically working your way up to the big time gamers and extortioners by using Naimovich’s expertise.

    I appreciate the way you’ve given thought to the frightening power of the FBI in those days and the fear people would have of getting in the way of their plans/covering up their mistakes.

    You quote Foley’s book:

    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.”


    Question: If they (the higher ups in the FBI who in turn convinced Eugene Mattioli from the Massachusetts State Police) decided that they needed to protect/cover up what they were doing with Matorano, Salemme, Flemmi and so much more, wasn’t Whitey the tip of the iceberg?

    Question 2: Isn’t that what this trial is about? That Whitey will get prison and the rest are out? (Flemmi not out but has and amazing $2 plus million – and I’m sure we would all be interested in an accurate assessment of these properties.)

    Question 3: About the quote: “If Nick had been cleared, that left just Naimovich and me. And I knew it wasn’t me.” It’s as if you didn’t exist in the wiretaps. What is going on?

    • Firefly:

      1. This is happening in 1987. We were at the level right under Whitey and Flemmi. Salemme would have been in prison; Martorano in Florida although he had connections with Joey Yerardi who we had picked up before in connection with Jimmy Katz and Michael Desotell. It really was about protecting Whitey and Flemmi which makes one wonder why. O’Sullivan was heavily involved in this. This leads me to ask whether or not there was a side deal with Whitey. O’Sullivan and Ring were very close, both going to the same law firm after leaving government. Taking Naimovich out would put a halt to what we were doing, as it did.

      2. That is pretty much what I wrote today – the trial is the last house in the row of houses we are supposed to look at and not behind. Build up Whitey and maybe we’ll all forget what else happened. That’s how it will play out in the media.

      3. Foley was talking about the leak to Ferrara. Ring had led him to believe it had to come from Nick which of course was impossible since he was an FBI agent or from Foley, unless Foley had briefed someone on it, which Ring knew he had done because he knew Mattioli had told him to brief Naimovich about that and no one else. Ring and Nick also knew that once they identified McIntyre and having thrown Naimovich in the mix, Mattioli would see that they were in contact, having already gone through Naimovich’s toll records.

  2. what do you make of the latest motion to sequester the jury? odds still in favor of jimmy b taking the stand? or do you think he’ll wait it out to tell Morley Safer on 60 minutes (Don’t really see him agreeing to do an interview with ANYONE else on 60 mins, especially the guy who did martorano’s interview.) he saw morley treated billy right and didn’t stain his name too much aside from stating the facts that were known in ’92. Going to be an interesting next few days to say the least. C & B better come out swinging and break out whatever they’ve had up their sleeve the past two months.

    • Jim:

      I’m beyond the tactics one way or the other. Sequestering the jury at this point I would think would not be in question. You want them to reach a verdict as quickly as they can and keeping them together and away from outside distractions, not that they’ve not had enough already makes sense. I’d be surprised if they weren’t especially since you can have a longer time each day for deliberation. I’d be surprised if the prosecutors opposed it, but then again maybe not.

      Whitey will testify. He couldn’t do an interview since he is in DOJ/BOP custody and they’d prevent it.

      Keep in mind C & B were handed a bag of chicken feet and asked to make a swan out of it. There’s little they have ever been able to do than to show the corruption extended far and wide in this case. They’ve done that. As for their client, he knew the moment he was arrested he’d never see the street again.

      As for what’s up their sleeve, they have nothing. All that left is to hear from the Great White Whale.

  3. Thinking about the Middlesex County and when Luther Harshbarger became AG and he and the Globe went after Ed McCormack with abandon. ” He who steals my purse steals trash…..but he who filches my good name.”
    These creeps can be so cavalier with other people’s names and reputations.

    • Hopalong:

      The Globe tried to implicate McCormack in its attemp to destry Billy Bulger over the 75 State Street Affair (which reminds me I have to do something to get the truth about that out) and ended up apologizing to him in its paper for mistating the facts. Bet you didn’t know that. Then Luther dutifully served the Globe, like the US Attorney’s office continues to do as we’ve seen in the Taxi Cab case just recently and the probation indictments before that. Interesting to note that the Globe went rat crap crazy when the US Attorney didn’t indict Billy and Luther won on the promise he would look into it (the Globe assumed he’d follow up that look with an indictment) but Luther, like his namesake was playing the Globe. A side light on Luther’s attack on McCormack was a huge build of of resentment against him. I recall bumping into this guy from Savin Hill who really controlled hundreds of votes from the area because he was so well liked and respected. He was working hard for Celucci against Luther just because of that. It didn’t help Luther that people remembered him being a butt swab for the Globe.

  4. Notaboy,

    click “contact” above and you will see Matts email. 😉

    • Question:

      Thanks – I wish I had known that then I could have saved myself a long explanation to Notaboyo.

  5. Interesting that people are finally seeing the abuses committed by federal prosecutors. With so many real criminals out there it makes you wonder why so many questionable prosecutions ?

    Matt I know you posted a private email for you earlier but I can’t find it. I have a question for you if you wouldn’t mind re-posting it.

    • Notoboyo:

      I was fooling around one day – it’s what you sometimes do in retirement when time is not money but something to enjoy – and money once you have enough to survive is no longer worth giving time to – and decided to see if I could come up with a four letter yahoo ID – I figured out somehow that the least likely combinations of last letters would be XQ. So I used those as my last two letters and found eexq, iixq, uuxq,uvxq and ooxq were available. So I took them and I use them for different purposes. You can reach me at any of them. Wnen you post a comment it goes to uvxq. So if you wnat to write privately you can use any of those with and I’ll get it and no one else will except the NSA.

  6. Matt, this story is better than whiteys. Foley is a piece of garbage. I want to let the tree huggers at bmg know about this early witness the government presented (instead f Dan Doherty).
    Do u see any of Foley’s actions illegal, or just unethical. At the least did he violate any protocols for which he should of have been reprimanded?

    • Matt, in other words, is your opinion Foley a lying piece of donkey crap or is he a really dumb and naive yet mean and ego driven piece of donkey crap loser in life whose shit don’t stink but believes what he days.

      That’s a fair question imho but I bet you would argue that point so if you could give an opinion outside the choices o gave you it would be appreciated.

      • Ernie:

        It may not sound it but I like Foley and think he was a good cop. He was hoodwinked when it came to Naimovich and the FBI used him as a tool. He’d realize this as he got more experience on the job. I think it’s difficult for him to accept what he did but I give him credit for writing some of it out. That gave me a much better look into what happened, as you know the Naimovich thing is why I’m involved in this in the first place. It’s difficult for many people to realize how powerful the FBI was back then.

    • Ernie:

      I just posted to a late question you asked which should answer these questions. Remember Foley is a young guy trying to do the right thing. He has people above him who should have seen the bigger picture but they all had an agenda. Ring, Gianturco, FBi Squad c-3, even O’Sullivan had it in for Naimovich but had to trick the state police into coming along. They were easily deceived. I don’t like making Foley look bad but the only way to tell the story of Naimovich as I see it is to do that but to recognize he was a good cop doing what he thought was right. He accepted what he was told at that time never figuring it was a set up. Yet the set up was staring him in the face.
      Foley believed he was doing right at the time. He did nothing illegal or unethical because he wasn’t skilled enough to see the game being played out around him. He had no idea about Naimovich. Foley was spit and shine, Naimovich was a sloppy Joe, very unstate police-like.
      You can’t blame Foley for this – he helped – but it was orchestrated at a much higher level.

      • Thanks Matt, that makesuch sense andsshows how things aren’t black and white. Great insight. Ashamr how wyshak and globies and others don’t see real world and nerd things simple and tidy with definite endings.
        That’s why pat nee is being ignored
        I suppose

  7. Matt, I was talking with N and we wanted to add this comment about yesterday’s discussion of Wyshak. Wyshak’s true character is revealed by his disparate approach to Congressman Tierney’s wife, who directly as the prime manager laundered $8 million dollars of her brothers’ offshore gambling enterprise for many years, and Wyshak’s treatment of the bookie’s wife, a very marginal player tangentially involved in her husband’s less than $1 million operation. For Tierney’s wife, Wyshak recommends probation. When asked why probation by Federal Judge Young, Wyshak says, “because she’s the Congressman’s wife.” Young is incredulous and says back to Wyshak, “So, you recommend probation in this case because the admitted felon is a Congressman’s wife?” And we all ask, why didn’t you recommend probation for the bookie’s wife. How many counts did Wyshak hit Tierney’s wife with (four?)? How many counts did he hit the bookie’s wife with? The answer: 144!!!. (2) Beyond that unequal application of the laws, we’ve alluded to Wyshak and his cohorts getting 3 years in federal prison for Chuck Turner over an alleged $1,000 bribe; 8-9 years for DiMasi/McDonough over $65,000 in bribes; one year served in prison for the bookie’s wife; and recommended probation for the Congressman’s wife who laundered $8 million. (3) Add in Wyshak’s use as witnesses of lying serial killers, his predatory approach to prosecution, his win at any cost mentality, his hounding and hunting down of John Connolly, Whitey and his innocent brother Bill Bulger (“Connolly got too close to the Bulgers and South Boston” a bigoted statement by Wyshak)and we’d conclude he is not a good human being. He’s one of the bad guys, an arrogant bureaucrat, who wields power unfairly, unjustly, unmercifully and who “kisses up and kicks down.” You are right: He’s a Bully!!! A bully wielding federal power to prosecute, persecute, bankrupt and imprison. Not a good person!!!

    • Evil people do exist. And non evil people do unfortunately commit evil things. The afterlife can figure out who is who. But for our purposes this guy and people like him need to be red flagged.
      The power is so immense that those who can
      do sosomething are rightfully scared. Look what they did to Ted Stevens. They changed the balance of power illegally, they were caught, and they investigated and sentenced themselves. Nothing has been done. Total whitewash.
      A Watergate type Senate investigation needs to be done and hearings broadcast everyday and headline every newspaper everyday.
      Has to be untied effort by the country. Only way can work. Like Watergate. Woodward and Bernstein were just one part of it. Momentum of public and press was 99% of it.

      • Ernie:

        Good point. Judge Sullivan carried the burden by himself in the case involving Senator Stevens. There should have been a senate investigation into how the DOJ could hide evidence and used perjured evidence to obtain a conviction. It did, and as you pointed out nothing was done about it. We had the same thing in Boston with an AUSA hiding evidence in a Mafia case and also in Naimovich’s trial it produced a document after the main witness had testified.

        Watergate was pushed on by an top level FBI agent who was leaking secret information to the Washington Post Reporters. That was fine. When a low level FBi agent leaks information to an informant that is evil if the FBi can’t cover it up. Watergage came about because Nixon became POOF – when that happens everyone gains up on you. The press highlighted the wrong doing, the TV hearings pushed the soap operas off the television, and the nation was rivited in those hearings.

        Things have changed. it’s getting harder and harder for something like that to happen.

    • William:

      I can’t dispute much of what you said. One thing that we don’t know yet, what will he do with the probation officers?