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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Law Enforcement as a Whole, Has Big Problems With Corruption in Boston !!

Saturday Musings

Trial to weigh cost of being framed

Cash compensation sought for lost years

By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff | November 13, 2006

When small-time hoodlum Edward "Teddy" Deegan was gunned down in a Chelsea alley on March 12, 1965, the FBI had a pretty good idea who did it.

Agents knew from an illegal bug that notorious hitman Joseph "The Animal" Barboza and FBI informant Vincent "Jimmy" Flemmi had sought permission from the boss of the New England Mafia to kill Deegan, according to FBI reports. And other informants named Barboza, Flemmi, and two other men as Deegan's killers, according to FBI memos.

But the case took a dramatically different turn when the FBI recruited Barboza to testify in a series of Mafia-related trials under a deal that gave him leniency for his own crimes. He admitted his role in Deegan's slaying and implicated others -- but not Flemmi -- leading to the wrongful convictions of four men who spent decades in prison before they were exonerated.

In a lawsuit that could cost the government more than $100 million in damages if it loses, lawyers allege the FBI sat on documents that would have helped those four men prove they were framed by Barboza. The suit is scheduled to go to trial Thursday in US District Court in Boston.

Peter Limone, now 72, and Joseph Salvati , 74, who were each in their early 30s with four children when convicted in 1968, spent more than 30 years in prison. Louis Greco and Henry Tameleo died in prison before being vindicated.

"It was like a perfect lie," said Boston attorney Juliane Balliro , who represents Limone, his family, and Tameleo's wife and children. "The feds insulated Barboza from any meaningful investigation in this case."

The lawsuit alleges the FBI failed to disclose critical evidence to state prosecutors, who tried the four men for murder, or to defense lawyers. It accuses the federal government of malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, conspiracy, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and depriving the men's families of their companionship. The suit was filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which does not allow a jury trial. The trial, expected to last four to six weeks, will be heard by US District Judge Nancy Gertner .

It's the second of a series of lawsuits alleging FBI negligence to go to trial this year in Boston. In September, a federal judge found that the FBI's mishandling of longtime informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi caused the 1984 murder of a Quincy fisherman. The judge ordered the government to pay $3.2 million to the victim's family.

Stephen and Vincent Flemmi, who died in prison in 1979, were brothers.

In their trial brief, lawyers for the men cite a series of wrongful-death convictions around the country in which more than $1 million in damages was awarded for each year of wrongful imprisonment.

By that calculation, the government would be forced to pay at least $109 million, just on the wrongful imprisonment claim. Limone spent 33 years in prison, Salvati 30 years, Greco 28 years before he died in 1995, and Tameleo 18 years before dying in 1985.

The lawyers said they are unaware of any other cases in which wrongful imprisonment lasted as long, and argued that the award should be high because the four "suffered phenomenally."

Charles Miller , a spokesman for the Department of Justice, declined to comment on the case last week. But in their pretrial memorandum, Justice Department lawyers argue that the federal government cannot be held responsible because the 1968 murder trial was prosecuted in state court by Suffolk County prosecutors who conducted their own investigation.

Justice Department lawyer Bridget Bailey Lipscomb wrote that the plaintiffs "cannot establish that the FBI owed them a duty to disclose to state authorities any information it had received from its informants or from electronic surveillance."

The FBI turned over some informant information about Deegan's slaying to state and local police, according to Lipscomb.

"I think it is totally outrageous that the federal government has had evidence in their files that my client has been innocent for over 40 years, and we have to put the family through a trial so they can rekindle the agony of all the years they had to visit him in prison," said attorney Victor Garo, who represents Salvati.

The FBI gave leniency to Barboza, who confessed to 26 killings, in exchange for his testimony against Mafia leaders. The federal Witness Protection Program was created to keep him safe.

The FBI memos that cast doubt on Barboza's credibility were uncovered six years ago by a Justice Department Task Force formed to investigate FBI corruption, after federal court hearings into the FBI's mishandling of Bulger and Stephen Flemmi.

One FBI report revealed that Barboza, who was killed in 1976, agreed to cooperate but told agents he would never provide information that would allow his close friend Vincent Flemmi to "fry." Lawyers for the four men say the document would have helped them prove that Barboza protected his friend Flemmi while falsely accusing the others.

Gail Marcinkiewicz , a spokeswoman for the FBI in Boston, declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said the agency's informant guidelines had been tightened as a result of the Bulger case. Currently, she said, "we have better oversight" on informants.

A state judge freed Limone from prison in January 2001 after the FBI memos about Barboza surfaced. Salvati was freed from prison in 1997 after then-Governor William F. Weld pardoned him.

Former governor Michael S. Dukakis , who rejected a recommendation from the state Parole Board in 1983 to grant Limone clemency, is expected to be called as a witness at the trial.

In the cases of Greco and Tameleo, the government contends that malicious prosecution claims died with them, and that their families are not entitled to any damages for their years of imprisonment.

But attorney Howard Friedman , who represents Greco's son, Edward, said it would be unfair for the government to avoid paying damages to Greco's family just because he died in prison. "If you were to keep a cover-up going long enough for a person to die, you shouldn't benefit," Friedman said.

Civil trial begins for men framed in mob killing
Millions sought from government

By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff | November 17, 2006

There's no question that the FBI recruited notorious hit man Joseph "The Animal" Barboza as a witness against local Mafia leaders, then turned him over to state prosecutors in a case that led to the wrongful conviction of four men for a 1965 gangland murder in Chelsea.

But yesterday, on the first day of a civil trial seeking more than $100 million in damages from the federal government, a Justice Department lawyer asserted the FBI can't be blamed because state prosecutors were responsible for investigating and trying the case.

"The FBI is not liable," said the government lawyer, Bridget Bailey Lipscomb .

But lawyers for Peter Limone , Joseph Salvati , Henry Tameleo, and Louis Greco accused the FBI of making a "mockery" of justice by failing to tell state prosecutors or defense lawyers about evidence that suggested Barboza had framed the four men for the slaying of small-time hoodlum Edward "Teddy" Deegan.

Limone, 72, and Salvati, 74, spent more than 30 years in prison before they were exonerated five years ago, while Greco and Tameleo both died in prison.

"The FBI initiated the prosecution by delivering a perjurious witness to the state prosecutor, knowing his testimony was false," said Boston lawyer Juliane Balliro , who represents the families of Limone and Tameleo . "But for the deliberate misconduct of the FBI, these men would not even have been indicted, let alone convicted for the murder of Edward Deegan."

The lawsuit accuses the government of malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent supervision of FBI agents, conspiracy, and loss of consortium by the men and their families.

Deegan was gunned down in a Chelsea alley in March 1965, but local police were unable to solve the slaying until the FBI struck a deal with Barboza. He was sentenced to a year in prison for his role in Deegan's murder and his testimony led to the 1968 conviction of the four men. Tameleo, Limone, and Greco were initially given the death penalty, then later sentenced to life. Salvati was also sentenced to life in prison.

Lawyers for the four men allege the FBI failed to disclose that agents listening in on an illegal bug planted in the offices of New England Mafia boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca overheard Barboza and his sidekick, Vincent "Jimmy" Flemmi, seeking permission to kill Deegan several days before the murder, according to lawyers.

The FBI also didn't disclose internal memos that suggested Barboza was framing the four men, while protecting Flemmi. Barboza was killed in 1976 and Flemmi died in prison in 1979.

Vincent Flemmi was an FBI informant at the time of Deegan's slaying, according to FBI memos.

Hartford lawyer Austin J. McGuigan, who represents the Salvatis, said FBI memos reveal that the FBI believed Vincent Flemmi had killed seven people, including Deegan, yet agents continued to use him because "his value as an informant outweighed the risk."

During opening statements yesterday before US District Judge Nancy Gertner, Lipscomb asserted the FBI "had no obligation" to share internal documents with state prosecutors, but also said agents provided some information about the Deegan murder to state and local police.

She also said that two of the defense lawyers involved in the state trial had previously been involved in another case where they were given access to some of the evidence gathered from the Patriarca bugging operation.

However, lawyers for the four men said the internal FBI documents didn't surface until six years ago, when they were found by a Justice Department task force investigating the FBI's mishandling of longtime informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi -- brother of Vincent Flemmi.

The new evidence prompted a state judge to free Limone from prison in 2001. Salvati was freed from prison in 1997 after he was pardoned.

After yesterday's court session, Limone, who was with his wife and four children, said he couldn't understand how the government could claim that they had no obligation to turn over the documents or that it wasn't critical to the case.

"It was their paperwork that got me out," said Limone, noting that it was obviously crucial since it led to his release after 33 years in prison.

Art Hostage comments:

Whilst acknowledging the FBI has had problems with corrruption and collusion historicaly, other Law Enforcement branches in Boston don't fair too well in the honesty stakes.

There is universal acceptance that the FBI has cleaned up it's act over recent years, especially in Boston, the appointment of Ken Kaiser, (who looks like the next FBI Director, heir apparent), sterilised the Boston Office and offered an Olive branch to the State Police and local agencies. I am told that inter-departmental co-operation is considered at an all time high and many investigations are ongoing collectively.

For the FBI, there remains just three outstanding requirements before the whole FBI gets a "Universal" Clean bill of health.

First, the Gardner Art needs to be recovered, a pragmatic approach will ensure, at least, the Vermeer surfaces in the near future.

Second, the FBI must demand that all outstanding collusion/corruption lawsuits be settled in one big payment by the Government, this will take the issue of historic FBI corruption and Collusion out of the public eye, off the political agenda, off the front pages and out of the public's mind, allowing the critical work of the FBI to go on unhindered by current perceptions based on "Historic" institutionalised Corruption/collusion.

Third, the Whitey Bulger issue must resolved, either by a full-scale search to apprehend Mr Bulger, bringing him to justice, handing the prosecutions to the Justice Dept, allowing the full historical story of FBI corruption and collusion to come out, or Brigadier Gordon Kerr and the P2OD Death Squad can be recruited to assassinate Whitey Bulger, ending this once and for all.

Whitey Bulger and the Gardner art hang over the FBI like the "Sword of Damocles"
It saps moral when it is bought up in the media and prevents all the good work conducted by the FBI being reported or commented on.

Below are just examples that show corruption and collusion are an evil that still lurks in dark corners of Boston Law Enforcement.

Time to lay off the FBI me thinks, give them assistance, if they help themselves by implementing the three stage Universal Sterilisation above.

Boston Officers Eyed in Drug Thefts

Courtesy of The Boston Herald

The Boston police anti-corruption unit is investigating whether cops stole the drugs that are missing from a Hyde Park evidence warehouse - jeopardizing ongoing criminal cases in the latest embarrassing blow to a department already rocked by scandal.

Earlier this month, the Herald reported drugs had gone missing as police moved mountains of seized cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other drugs from one section of the warehouse to another.

While some of those drugs were later found, acting police commissioner Al Goslin said at the time an audit was under way to determine whether more drugs had been stolen or were misplaced.

Late yesterday, Boston police acknowledged that drugs are in fact missing.

“As a result of the audit that had been ordered by the commissioner, anti-corruption is investigating and the audit continues,” said police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll.

Police would not say what quantity or kind of drugs are missing or how many prosecutions could be affected. Driscoll confirmed that only police officers and department employees have access to the warehouse and the anti-corruption unit is looking at whether someone with legal access stole the drugs.

Suffolk District Attorney spokesman Jake Wark would not comment on what steps prosecutors are taking to preserve criminal cases, but he said they are working with police.

Former prosecutor Jerry Leone, who is running for Middlesex District Attorney, said if drugs are destroyed in a fire or flood, prosecutors can use as evidence a written chain of custody, lab reports and police testimony to overcome that at trial. But if the evidence is tainted by theft or tampering, cases are harder to prove.

“If it is corruption ... the trial doesn’t become about the fact that it’s missing. It becomes a trial about the process and the people and the integrity of what is being represented to the court,” he said. “If you have a cop who either lied about the evidence or stole evidence, that hurts the case itself, but it also gets tied to other cases that cop has handled.”

The possibility a cop stole drugs hits a department reeling from federal drug conspiracy charges against three of its own, as well as charges against Officer Paul Durkin for allegedly shooting a fellow cop after a night of heavy drinking.

One veteran cop said last night it tarnishes the entire department.

“I think the biggest thing is when something like this hits the papers, you look at all the cars going by and you say to yourself, ‘I wonder what these guys are thinking about me?’ ” he said. “Do the citizens still have confidence in you?”

Boston Cops Indicted on Drug Charges
Jim Kouri

Three veteran officers from the Boston Police Department were indicted Friday by a federal grand jury for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin. One of the officers was charged with framing an innocent businessman, as well.

In July, the men were arrested in an FBI undercover sting operation after they had traveled to Miami, Florida to receive a $35,000 payment for protecting what they believed to be 100 kilograms of cocaine.

Roberto "Kiko" Pulido, age 41, Carlos Pizarro,age 36, and Nelson Carrasquillo, age 35, were charged in an indictment with one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than 1 kilogram of heroin.

Pulido and Carrasquillo were charged in a second count with attempting to aid and abet the possession of cocaine with intent to distribute on or about April 23, 2006. And the three police officers were charged in a third count with attempting to aid and abet the possession of cocaine with intent to distribute on June 8, 2006.

Pulido and Pizarro have been Boston Police officers since 1996 and Carrasquillo since 1999. Both Pulido and Carrasquillo were most recently assigned to the Special Operations Division, Mobile Operations Patrol. Pizarro is a patrol officer in Area D-4 (South End). All three were placed on administrative leave shortly after their arrest in July 2006.

According to the Indictment, documents previously filed with the Court, and testimony at hearings in August 2006, it is alleged that Pulido came under federal scrutiny in November 2003 when it was discovered that he engaged in a scheme to buy and distribute retail store gift cards, which had been obtained by an identity theft ring.

Over the course of a two and one-half year investigation, agents from the FBI, working in cooperation with the Boston Police Department's Anti-Corruption Squad, allegedly discovered that Pulido routinely engaged in a wide range of criminal activities including: identity theft; drug dealing; sponsoring and protecting illegal after-hours parties at which prostitutes routinely worked; robbery; threats; insurance fraud; money laundering; illegal alien smuggling; and trafficking in stolen goods.

Pulido also framed a business partner on drug and weapons charges. It is alleged that both Pizarro and Carrasquillo joined in some of this illegal conduct.

In December 2005, the FBI developed an undercover sting operation aimed at revealing the extent of Pulido's criminal contacts within the BPD. As part of that undercover operation -- which took place in Boston, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Miami, Florida -- in April 2006, Pulido and Carrasquillo were paid $20,000 to provide protection for the sale of 40 kilograms of cocaine.

The sale, which they agreed to protect from detection by the BPD, was actually from one FBI undercover group to another. It is alleged that the sale took place in a garage in Jamaica Plain operated by Pulido.

A second sting operation took place in early June 2006. In this operation, Pulido and Carrasquillo were joined by Pizarro in allegedly protecting the transport and sale of what they believed to be 100 kilograms of cocaine. It is alleged that on June 8, 2006, the three officers escorted a truck they believed to be carrying 100 kilograms of cocaine from western Massachusetts to Boston, and oversaw and protected the transfer of the narcotics at Pulido's garage.

During the transfer, it is alleged that Pulido was actively monitoring the BPD radio traffic while Carrasquillo and Pizarro escorted the drug transport vehicles and provided perimeter security. That day, Pulido was paid a $15,000 down payment for the police protection provided by himself and the two other cops. The remainder -- $35,000 -- was to be paid in a celebratory meeting scheduled to take place in Miami.

In July 2006, the three police officers traveled to Miami to meet with the undercover agents to receive the additional $35,000 owed to them for protecting the June shipment, and to plan the next operation. In recorded meetings in July 2006, the men agreed to protect much larger quantities of cocaine, including two shipments totaling 1000 kilograms in August 2006 (with a street value of approximately $20 million). They also agreed to protect 5 kilograms of heroin. On July 20, 2006, following their receipt of $36,000 from the undercover agents, the defendants were arrested. They have been in federal custody since that time.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of the money paid to the defendants during the course of the undercover investigation.

If convicted, the three police officers face a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison up to a maximum of life, and a $4 million fine on each of the three counts.

The on-going investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in cooperation with the Boston Police Department's Anti-Corruption Squad. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. McNeil in Sullivan's Public Corruption Unit.

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a staff writer for the New Media Alliance ( He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.

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