THREE men, including a Mafia hitman, have been charged in the brutal killing of notorious crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger.
Fotios “Freddy” Geas, Paul J DeCologero, and Sean McKinnon are facing charges nearly four years after Bulger was beaten to death while serving a life sentence.
McKinnon was arrested on Thursday in Florida after he was indicted separately for making false statements to a federal agent, police said.
Investigators initially identified Geas and DeCologero as suspects shortly after Bulger’s death, but they remained uncharged as the investigation dragged on for years.
They were placed in solitary confinement as officials examined the violent case, family members told The Boston Globe.
Gaes remains at a prison in Hazelton and DeCologero is being held in another federal prison facility.
The charges and arrest come after Bulger’s family filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and 30 unnamed employees of the prison system, arguing that they failed to protect him.
Bulger was the third inmate killed in six months at USP Hazelton.
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Workers and advocates spoke out about the poor conditions of the jail in the past.
Bulger, who ran the largely Irish mob in Boston in the 1970s and 80s, served as an FBI informant who ratted on his gang’s main rival in an era when bringing down the Mafia was a top national priority for the FBI.
A prison workers’ union official told The Associated Press in 2018 that sending Bulger to the troubled federal penitentiary that housed other New England gangsters was like giving him a “death sentence.”
A federal law enforcement official told The AP after Bulger’s death that disciplinary issues led to Bulger’s transfer to USP Hazelton.
In February 2018, Bulger threatened an assistant supervisor at the prison in Florida, telling her “your day of reckoning is coming.”
Bulger fled Boston in late 1994 after his FBI handler, John Connolly Jr, warned him that he was about to be indicted.
With a $2million reward on his head, Bulger became one of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” criminals.
After more than 16 years on the run, Bulger was captured at age 81 in Santa Monica, California, where he had been living in a rent-controlled apartment near the beach with his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig.
Suspect DeCologero was part of an organized crime gang led by his uncle on Massachusetts’ North Shore called the “DeCologero Crew.”
He was convicted of buying heroin that was used to try to kill a teenage girl his uncle wanted dead because he feared she “would betray the crew to police.”
The heroin didn’t kill her, so another man broke her neck, dismembered her, and buried her remains in the woods, according to court records.
Geas was a close associate of the Mafia and acted as an enforcer, but was not an official “made” member because he’s Greek, not Italian.
Geas and his brother were sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for their roles in several violent crimes, including the 2003 killing of Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, a Genovese crime family boss in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Another mobster ordered Bruno’s killing because he was upset he had talked to the FBI, prosecutors said.
McKinnon was released from prison in July after pleading guilty in 2015 to stealing guns from a firearms dealer, AP reported.
He was on federal supervised release when the indictment was handed down.
His mother previously told The Boston Globe that her son was Geas’ cellmate at the time of Bulger’s killing but claimed he knew nothing about the slaying.
The three men implemented in Bulger's murder were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
The DOJ also charged Geas and DeCologero with aiding and abetting first-degree murder, along with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.