sunny.png
Monday August 2nd, 2021 12:16PM

Ex-FBI agent linked to Whitey Bulger to be freed from prison

By The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — A former FBI agent convicted of second-degree murder for leaking information to Boston gangster James “Whitey" Bulger that led to the shooting death of a gambling executive will be released from prison on medical grounds, officials ruled Wednesday.

The Florida Commission on Offender Review voted 2-1 in favor of releasing 80-year-old John Connolly, who has cancer and is believed to have less than a year to live.

Connolly, who was Bulger's FBI handler, was sentenced to 40 years behind bars after being convicted in 2008 in the killing of World Jai Alai President John Callahan in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1982. Connolly tipped off Bulger and another gangster, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, that Callahan was about to implicate the gang in a killing, authorities said.

In a statement read to the commission, Callahan's son said he is not opposed to Connolly's release, given his prognosis.

“Let his family have this year with him before he dies," Patrick Callahan said.

The state attorney's office also did not oppose his release.

Connolly was also found guilty in 2002 of tipping off Bulger, Flemmi and former New England mob boss Francis “Cadillac Fran” Salemme in late 1994 that they were about to be indicted. Connolly's tip allowed Bulger to flee and spend the next 16 years on the lam. Connolly served 10 years in prison in that case.

Connolly's case damaged the FBI's reputation and prompted reforms, like stricter guidelines for handling criminal informants. Connolly and Bulger's relationship helped inspire the 2006 Martin Scorsese film, “The Departed.”

Bulger, who was one of America’s most wanted men before being arrested in California in 2011, was killed in federal prison in West Virginia in 2018. Authorities have not charged anyone with his killing, but law enforcement officials said at the time that two Massachusetts mobsters were suspects.

James McDonald, an attorney for Connolly, and Connolly's brother were among those who spoke in favor of his release. McDonald noted that Connolly was more than 1,000 miles away in Massachusetts when Callahan was killed and that the hitman who pulled the trigger is now a free man.

James Connolly said his brother has has lots of family and friends who can support him in the Boston area.

“He’s no threat to anybody,” he said.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
100 million Americans brace for more cold, ice and snow
Another winter storm front is blowing through the nation's midsection, where power grids haven't adjusted for the wild weather swings that come with climate change
10:29AM ( 36 minutes ago )
The Latest: Deep freeze harming drinking water systems
Days of freezing temperatures are taking their toll on some drinking water systems
9:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
'A complete bungle': Texas' energy pride goes out with cold
Anger over Texas' power grid failing in the face of a record winter freeze is mounting
9:22AM ( 1 hour ago )
U.S. News
100 million Americans brace for more cold, ice and snow
Another winter storm front is blowing through the nation's midsection, where power grids haven't adjusted for the wild weather swings that come with climate change
10:29AM ( 36 minutes ago )
The Latest: Deep freeze harming drinking water systems
Days of freezing temperatures are taking their toll on some drinking water systems
9:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
'A complete bungle': Texas' energy pride goes out with cold
Anger over Texas' power grid failing in the face of a record winter freeze is mounting
9:22AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Weather's toll includes elderly woman found dead
At least 20 people have died as a result of the winter weather that has most of the United States in its grip
9:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden describes life at the White House: 'A gilded cage'
President Joe Biden is still getting used to the trappings of the office four weeks into his presidency
8:25AM ( 2 hours ago )