Whitey Bulger Admits to Making Millions from Drug Trafficking

By McCarton Ackerman 06/13/13

His trial will determine whether the famed Boston mobster was a "hands-on killer" or merely a cocaine kingpin.

James "Whitey" Bulger Photo via

At the opening of his long-awaited trial yesterday, 83-year-old James "Whitey" Bulger admitted through his attorney that he made millions of dollars from drug trafficking and gave payouts to corrupt law enforcement agents, but he denied being an FBI informant and killing two young women and businessmen. The notorious mobster, who was on the FBI's Most Wanted list for a decade, was finally captured in California in 2011 after a 16-year manhunt.US Attorney Brian T. Kelly called him "a hands-on killer who was the leader of a criminal enterprise," and accused him of using his connections to make millions of dollars selling illegal drugs, including cocaine, in his neighborhood, while promoting the "myth" that he had nothing to do with drugs. Although the initial indictment alleged that Bulger forced cocaine dealers to give him a cut of their profits, the government is gearing up to present evidence that he personally cultivated a new drug supplier and parceled out 50 pounds of cocaine for distribution in Charlestown and South Boston. Bulger also faces 32 counts of racketeering, extortion, money laundering and firearms possession, which include allegations that he participated in 19 murders in the 1970s and 1980s. While both prosecutors and defense admit that Bulger is "no saint," his attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., claims that those who accuse his client of murder can't be trusted. Carney has accused “greedy” FBI agent, John J. Connolly Jr. of accepting payoffs of up to $50,000 from Bulger for leaked information related to bugs, searches and indictments, then filling his file with false reports to hide their corrupt relationship. The trial is expected to last until September.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.