Whitey Bulger’s Victim — Trooper John Naimovich — No Investigation Compromised

Wednesday’s is John “Ivan” Naimovich day, a Massachusetts State Trooper who investigated organized crime activities for most of his twenty-three years.  He was indicted by the feds for a RICO violation and faced over 20 years in prison before being acquitted by a jury.  I testified on his behalf being in the unusual position of a prosecutor testifying on behalf of a defendant in a federal RICO prosecution.

For the foreseeable future I will be discussing him on this day of the week.  He is involved in this story as an example of what I believe is the FBI’s hypocrisy and willingness to go to any length to protect its informants, in this case Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi.

If it were not for Naimovich I would not be writing this blog.  My mystification as to the reasons behind his indictment prompted me to go to FBI agent John Connolly’s trial and to continue my interest in the events surrounding Whitey Bulger.  It will take a while to get through this and to show its connection to Whitey.  If you are not interested in this matter, then you may wish to skip reading the blog on Wednesdays.

Naimovich’s crime was the supposed leaking of information to organized crime people and the compromising of FBI investigations.  The FBI alleged that he did this by using a bookie out of Canton, which is in Norfolk County, named Francis McIntyre.  (I would subsequently indict him.  When I left the office after a new DA came aboard, his case was still pending.  I was told the FBI paid a visit to the new DA, a former fed, to intercede on McIntyre’s behalf.)

One of the problems with the FBI trying to prove this theory that Naimovich was tipping off the gangsters was that if he was doing it, even though an expert in organized crime matters, he proved quite inept.  The operations that he was supposed to have tipped off seemed to have continued on as if they were not compromised and for the most part the raids that followed seem to be successful.

Having been involved in over a hundred organized crime investigations, I can tell you that when a leak occurs, you quickly know about it.  The criminal target learning he is under surveillance will immediately change his operation, move his location and often destroy the incriminating evidence.

Here’s are four typical real life examples of what happens.

1. The state police put an electronic listening device (bug) into a location that was being used by the Winter Hill Mob and Italian Mafia.  When they were listening to the communications being transmitted they heard the targets talking about what a good job the state police did in patrolling the highways and other complementary talk about the state police.  The tenor of the conversation told them the bug had been compromised.  After that the gangsters stopped using that location.

2.  The state police surveil a bank of public pay telephones for several weeks.  They saw the leaders of the Winter Hill Mob using these telephones continually over that period.  They secured warrants to intercept their telephone conversations.  The day they were ready to install the listening devices the gangster stopped showing up at the phones.

3.  A raid is planned to take place and 16 places are scheduled to be hit.  To insure the telephones are still located in these places and to double check their locations, a letter is hand delivered to the telephone company listing the 16 telephone numbers.  The raids takes place after the information is confirmed.  At none of the locations is any gaming apparatus found.  (One person arrested will have a list of the telephone numbers in his pocket in the exact order they were given to the telephone company.)  As soon as the information leaked, all 16 bookie offices cleared out all the incriminatory evidence.

4.  The police in the early hours of the day while it is still dark take the target’s car from its parking spot and put an exact duplicate of the car there.  The car is taken to a special garage where sophisticated tools are used to put a highly expensive bug into it that cannot be detected.  The car is then returned and the substitute car removed.  The next afternoon the gangster (in this case Whitey) leaves his condominium and drives off.  A short while later the police captain in charge of the operation receives a call from the gangster telling him he knows the bug is in the car and asking him to come down and remove it.

Historically, a leak will undermine an electronic surveillance operation.  The gangsters don’t sit around and continue things as usual if they know the cops are listening or are planning to show up.  It is almost axiomatic that is how you recognize a leak by a change in the way the gangsters do business.

The FBI operations that Naimovich was alleged to have undermined were successful and resulted in grand jury hearings, indictments and incarcerations.  Most of the evidence was where it was supposed to be.  Persons intercepted continued their discussions as they always had.  The person Naimovich was allegedly leaking the information to continued to incriminate himself.  There were no outside indicia that would lead to the conclusion the investigations had been compromised.

Yet the FBI persisted in prosecuting Naimovich as if he had undermined these investigations.   More to come.



  1. william m connolly

    Of course, you all know I believe John Connolly was framed and Fred Wyshak is an overly zealous, ethically challenged prosecutor who has put known perjurers and wholly discredited psychopaths like Flemmi and Martorano on the stand, whose stories keep changing over time, and whose testimony was largely rejected by the jury in Boston. In fact the Boston jury did not believe one word of Martorano’s testimony, and the only word from Flemmi the Boston jury believed was that Connolly told him around 1997 to tell Judge Wolfe that he (Connolly) was an innocent cop, an honest cop, and that Connolly, who’d been retired from the FBI for seven years and who had no leverage or bargaining power with anyone in 1997, somehow “forced” or “made” Flemmi lie. Be that as it may, Wyshak reused the rejected testimony of Flemmi and Martorano in Miami, and for that alone I have nothing but contempt for him. For his unequal treatment of the Tierney and Gianelli families I have utter contempt for him.
    Be all that as it may, it is not the primary reason why I write. Instead, it is to alert you to a recent NEXUS article I ran across and which you and your followers may be interested in. Here it is:
    Copyright (c) 2012 New England School of Law
    New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement

    ARTICLE: Building a Case Against “Whitey”: A U.S. Attorney’s Tale from Inside James Bulger’s Prosecution

    Summer, 2012

    New England Journal on Criminal & Civil Confinement

    38 N.E. J. on Crim. & Civ. Con. 281


    Donald K. Stern *

    P.S.I don’t understand what Mr. Fitzpatrick is squawking about. He seems to claim you are being anonymous. How many prosecutors involved in wiretaps who come from South Boston have the initials MTC on their email and how many have nephews and brothers named Connolly following them and commenting upon their postings. What is Mr. Ftzpatrick squeeking about? I, too, found his writings incredulous.

    • Thank you for the reference to the article. I will look at it and comment on it. I noticed that it appears to be a panel discussion involving Ralph Ranalli and Shelley Murphy. Donald Stern also mentions Tom Foley. It should be enlightening. Ranalli wrote one of the best books, Deadly Alliance, (the best from my perspective since it talks of the Top Echelon Informant program.) Shelley Murphy come from a neighborhood in Dorchester where persons such as Spike O’Toole, Billy O’Sullivan, and Tony Veranis lived and where Eddie Connors worked, all murder victims of some of the gangsters involved in this saga so she has a sense of the neighborhood culture on her skin. Aside from that she is an excellent reporter for the Boston Globe and is a woman like Catherine Greig who knows how to be a stand up person and to keep her word.

      You and I differ on our view of John Connolly. My book, Don’t Embarrass the Family, explains much of what I think. But even in the book there is a big caveat relative to him, namely, some of the things I believe were wrong for him to do if done with the authority of the FBI and the FBI had that authority to allow him to do those things would change the color of his actions.

      I don’t know how he justifies his actions after he retires. I also don’t know why he never had a consistent strategy. If he believed he had done nothing wrong, why has he been all over the part with his explanations? Why hasn’t he defended himself where it counts in the court room? He just recently said Whitey will say he did not tip him off to flee. I would think he would be saying “of course I tipped him off. I had an obligation to do that. Didn’t even Morris who waffled on most things testify that was the FBI’s agreement with him that Whitey would be given a head start. I was fulfilling my FBI obligation.” [Had he done this and it was accepted, he could have beat the RICO charge because of the statute of limitations and the need for two predicate offenses] Connolly’s only chance of ever getting out of jail is to put it on the line as he sometimes seems to do by saying I knew they were killing people, so did the FBI, but I was still charged with protecting them.

      Flemmi wouldn’t know the truth if it was sleeping in his cell with him. How can anyone believe anything he says since he makes it up as he goes along as do most of these gangsters? Flemmi did believe that the FBI would honor its commitment to him and thought Connolly still had the juice to see that it did. If Connolly exerted influence over him it was because of Flemmi’s misplaced hope.

      I’m not familiar with the evidence in the Florida case. I set out what I knew about Mrs. Tierney in a response yesterday, as far as Gianelli is concerned, I believe that is the family that is related to Connolly, I know little other than they were prosecuted by the feds. (I’ll look into that to try to figure out your point.) I think Fred Wyshak, a Hyde Park boy, is a good prosecutor who did an admirable job in these matters. When you are dealing with the Whitey types, you are not going to get your witnesses from the seminary.

      Fitzpatrick wrote a book Betrayal that had some interesting parts. He loved the FBI and apparently had an admirable career before he came to Boston. What he experience in Boston soured him He says over and over again that things were accepted so as not to embarrass the FBI. That, of course, was one of the reasons Connolly was prosecuted.

      Fitzpatrick engages in a lot of hyperbole as I’ve explained when talking about his own accomplishments. He fell into a trap, that many in the FBI fell into, that because Whitey and Billy were brothers they were both corrupt. He doesn’t seem to get it that in most families the siblings do not control each other. He also doesn’t understand (even though he says he’s Irish but not Boston Irish) that Irish families don’t talk about the bad things in their family — unlike the Jews, Ukrainians and other ethnic groups from Eastern Europe who put everything out and enjoy the battle — the Irish shut their eyes to things, avoid confrontations, and never, ever wash their dirty laundry in public nor do they want to hear from outsiders criticism of their family. Is it a product of being ruled by the Brits for so many centuries during which there religion was outlawed?

      The prototypical story of an Irish father is a recent occurrence in Ireland when it turned out that a star player admitted he was gay. The player was out of the country. There was an uproar in the papers about it so the team sent him home. His father picked him up at the airport and drove him home which took several hours. Not once did the father or son mention the issue everyone in the nation was discussing. And, of course, there’s the Irish mother who will not entertain any suggestion her children are less than perfect. Unless you understand (or lived with) these things, you’re going to misinterpret lots of happenings.

      As far as hiding my identity, that accusation is absurd. I’ve been mentioning my book. A person who reads my blog can tell where I grew up, where I worked, and who I know, aside from making a connection with my initials and the people who write to me. But some people unable to address things on the merits resort to ad hominem attacks. If it makes them feel better, so be it. But it gives an idea of how they must have done their jobs over the years.

      Thanks for reading any your comment.

    • I quickly read the article that contained the speech of Donald Stern. He and I seem to be on the same page on most things. He points to the bad blood coming from the FBI trying to undermine Wyshak’s investigation and the FBI tossing up the old boogeyman which it loved to do with the “poor me” puerile argument that someone didn’t like the FBI and was in the pocket of the state police. His knowing response to the FBI was “Hey, grow up.”
      He mistakes some things such as the amount of time Martorano faced. He said seven years. If that were the case Martorano would never had flipped since he had pretty close to that already in the locker when he began to make a sweet deal for himself. He also says Martorano gave important information that led to Connolly’s prosecution. That’s untrue. Martorano really knew nothing about Connolly since he was out of town from 1979 until his arrest in 1995. He, of course, had lots of hearsay evidence which was admissible but as you know the jury elected not to believe him. But most of Stearns’s statements and conclusions I agree with.