BOSTON — Notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger told agents who arrested him last week that he returned to Boston in disguise and “armed to the teeth” several times during his 16 years on the run, prosecutors said Monday.
The revelations about Bulger’s description of life on the lam were included in a memo filed Monday by federal prosecutors who are objecting to Bulger’s request for a taxpayer-funded attorney.
Bulger, 81, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang who is charged in connection with 19 murders, was arrested in Santa Monica, Calif., last week, after spending years on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. Bulger, who was also a top-echelon FBI informant, fled Boston after he was tipped by his former FBI handler that he was about to be indicted.
Bulger, while being brought back to Boston by federal agents, waived his Miranda rights and “admitted that he had been a frequent traveler as a fugitive,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Kelly and Fred Wyshak Jr. said in their memo.
They said Bulger admitted traveling to Boston several times “armed to the teeth” because he “had to take care of some unfinished business.”
“Bulger refused to elaborate on whom he visited, when exactly he visited, and who was with him on these trips to Boston,” Kelly and Wyshak wrote.
“While Bulger also admitted that he had previously stashed money with people he trusted, he did not identify anyone who might be currently hiding his assets.”
Bulger also said he visited Las Vegas to play the slots on numerous occasions and “claimed he won more than he lost.” He also said he traveled to San Diego, then crossed the Mexican border into Tijuana to buy medications, according to the memo.
“The foregoing facts are of course significant because they indicate Bulger may have additional assets and/or allies willing to assist him in his current predicament,” Kelley and Wyshak wrote in the memo.
The prosecutors also said Bulger told the U.S. Pretrial Services office in Los Angeles that his brother, former Massachusetts Senate President William Bulger, may be willing to help post bail for Catherine Greig, Bulger’s longtime girlfriend who was arrested with him after the couple was found in California. Greig is charged with harboring a fugitive.
“Of course, if that is true, William Bulger might also be willing to pay for an attorney to represent his brother, James Bulger,” prosecutors say in their memo.
William Bulger could not immediately be reached for comment. Messages were left with his attorney, Thomas R. Kiley, and a spokesperson.