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FBI accused of misdeeds in mob investigation

June 14, 2013 at 10:46 AM

BOSTON, June 14 (UPI) -- The FBI undercut state investigators trying to nail reputed mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, a former head of the Massachusetts State Police testified in Boston.

Thomas Foley testified in federal court Thursday that when his investigators were trying to collect evidence against Bulger in the 1980s, the targeted individuals always appeared to clam up when their conversations were being recorded, USA Today reported. The retired state police head said the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice were undercutting his investigators' efforts, the newspaper said.

The FBI "put a higher priority on protecting their informants than they did actually looking at public safety," Foley testified.

Foley and two state police investigators testified about dozens of weapons seized in searches related to Bulger's alleged crime organization, but Foley conceded Bulger's DNA was not found on any of the guns.

Bulger, 83, is on trial for 32 counts related to 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s, racketeering, extortion, money laundering and firearm violations.

The focus of his trial was expected to turn to Bulger's alleged efforts to extort bookmakers, with two bookmakers expected to testify Friday, The Boston Globe reported.

James Katz was expected to tell how he paid rent to Bulger associate Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi with the understanding the money would wind up in Bulger's pocket, the newspaper said.

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