Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Whitey Bulger had ties to Rhode Island mob family

James "Whitey" Bulger had ties to the Patriarca crime family and the late Raymond Patriarca, who ruled the New England mob with an iron fist.

Bulger certainly knew of the power of Patriarca, and over the years paid him tons of money in order to operate the rackets in Boston.

When the FBI busted the Anguilo brothers, who were running the Boston branch of La Cosa Nostra for Patriarca, Bulger found an opening.

He moved in with his Winter Hill gang, but had to pay tribute, hundreds of thousands of dollars, to Patriarca in order to stay in business.

"Organized crime is all about money. Money and power," said Col. Steven O'Donnell, head of the Rhode Island State Police.

Bulger was a long-time FBI informant and one FBI agent, who grew up with him, John Connolly, got too close to him. Connolly tipped off Bulger and his right-hand man, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi on various grand jury investigations.

Connolly was finally convicted of a variety of crimes, all relating to his criminal involvement with Bulger. He's still in prison.

But Bulger, played by Jack Nicholson in the Academy-Award winning film, "The Departed," was a ruthless killer and cold-blooded criminal.

And Rhode Island State Police have surveillance photos of Bulger meeting with wiseguys in Providence.

"There's been surveillance of him with ranking members of the Patriarca family over the years," O'Donnell said.

In his younger years, Bulger was arrested for a string of bank robberies in Rhode Island and Indiana.


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