Hapless fed prison system springs Whitey Bulger ‘enforcer’ amid coronavirus
Lock up the womenfolk and the old timers — career thug Eddie MacKenzie is back in Boston.
Five months after a federal judge ordered the Bureau of Prisons not to release the self-described “enforcer for Whitey Bulger,” the BOP … released him.
So much for the omnipotent, total power of the federal judiciary.
Eddie Mac, age 62, owed Uncle another three years on his 2015 RICO conviction for looting an old Boston church of millions of dollars through fraud, deceit, extortion, theft, bribery and money laundering.
But now Eddie Mac is living large in a “halfway house” on Huntington Avenue known as a soft-landing spot for famous felons like bra-stuffing ex-state senator Dianne Wilkerson of Roxbury.
Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney in Boston, issued the following statement on Eddie Mac’s jailbreak Friday: “I’m disappointed that Edward MacKenzie was released from prison almost three years early. MacKenzie richly deserved his 12-year sentence, and his release is an affront to his many innocent victims.”
In his statement Lelling quoted what Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV said when he sentenced the hulking grifter to 144 months: “The defendant is someone who lies and deceives people on a regular basis. The victim here is a church. … The crime was huge and sophisticated. He stole massive amounts of money from a church and what do I have to balance against all of that? The answer is not very much.”
Eddie Mac was a third-rate plug ugly and a big-time con artist in Southie. After one stretch in durance vile, he had ghostwritten for him a moderately entertaining fiction masquerading as a memoir, “Street Soldier.”
In the book, he claimed he and Whitey Bulger were thisclose. As I said, it was a work of imagination.
Eddie Mac’s career grift came when he realized that an old Protestant church at the top of Beacon Hill, the Swedenborgian Church, was ripe for the taking. The congregation owned a big apartment building free and clear, and Eddie and some pals took over the church and started stealing tens of thousands a month.
He admitted to pocketing $539,599, although the feds said the actual theft ran into the “millions.”
When the coronavirus Panic struck, Eddie Mac saw it as a get-out-of-jail free card. Stuck at Devens, he claimed he was at risk for the virus because of high blood pressure and nasal congestion.
He was in the underworld in South Boston in the 1980s and now he has … nasal congestion. Go figure.
He was arrested in 2013, but being locked up didn’t stop Eddie Mac from continuing his crime wave.
As the feds said in their pre-sentencing memo, while incarcerated among other things he: “… encouraged his daughter to have sexual relations with his girlfriend while MacKenzie was in jail so that his girlfriend did not sleep with other men … attempted to arrange for one of his daughters to have a sexual relationship with a ‘nasty’ inmate whom MacKenzie met in jail in exchange for money … orchestrated an insurance fraud … (told a woman) not to mention in a letter to this Court that she started dating MacKenzie when she was 14 years old because ‘the judge might not understand. …”
He met a 15-year-old girl at an AlAnon meeting when he was in his mid-40’s, the feds said. Soon he was bedding “Jane Doe”… and getting her hooked on OxyContin. When Jane Doe had to go to detox, MacKenzie stuck the church with a $28,000 bill for his drug-addicted teenage girlfriend.
In Southie, he once “poured scalding hot coffee on the face of an unarmed and sleeping individual.”
Another time he threatened to have his ex-wife’s “legs chained to a cinder block and thrown off a bridge.”
There’s more, much more in the feds’ memo, but you get the point. Basically, he’s not quite as bad as Andrea Campbell’s brother allegedly is, but he’s not far off.
At Club Fed, Eddie Mac turned into a jailhouse lawyer, filing motion after futile motion, including most recently the nasal-congestion brief earlier this year. But nothing ever worked. Last spring, the elderly congregation members he’d robbed told the court they still “quake” when they hear his name, suffering “sleepless nights.”
After Judge Saylor turned down Eddie Mac’s motion for “compassionate release,” the victims figured they were safe until 2023. But a few days ago, his scowling visage turned up on local social media, and everybody knew that Eddie Mac had somehow worked yet another scam, this time on the pathetically run Bureau of Prisons (remember Jeffrey Epstein?).
On the BOP website, inmate 17938-038 is now listed as being in custody of “Philadelphia RRM (Residential Reentry Management).” It’s a field office for the Northeast. No one answered the phone there Friday. Ditto at the halfway house on Huntington Ave.
So now Eddie Mac is again a free man, or close enough. Too close for his many victims, or for the cops who worked so diligently to keep this archfiend behind bars.
“Unfortunately,” Lelling said, “those efforts were not enough to prevent this injustice.”
Once again, in the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls.