Imprisoned Boston mobster Stevie Flemmi yesterday told a federal jury in Boston that he and his underworld partner Whitey Bulger had between five and seven local FBI agents on their payroll, as well as between 25 and 30 Boston police officers and at least one member of the Mass. State Police.
Flemmi, who is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to 10 murders, was testifying in the murder trial of his former underworld partner, Cadillac Frank Salemme. Salemme and a co-defendant, Paul Weadick, are charged with strangling a Boston bar owner, Steve DiSarro, in May 1993.
Flemmi has testified in the past about paying off Boston FBI agents, but during cross-examination, Weadick’s lawyer ran down the names again for the jury of 12 women and 6 men.
Flemmi said the agents he was paying off included John “Zip” Connolly, John “Vino” Morris, “Doc” Gianturco, Michael Buckley and John “Agent Orange” Newton.
Newton at one point gave Bulger and Flemmi 40 pounds of C4 plastic explosives, Flemmi said.
The state trooper, Richard Schneiderman, was on the gang’s payroll for $1,000 a month, Flemmi testified.
Flemmi, whose nickname is “the Rifleman,” said the gang also gave presents to several FBI agents, including a gold ring to Dennis Condon, who later became Gov. Mike Dukakis’ secretary of public safety. In prior testimony, Flemmi has said the gang gave a diamond ring to Connolly and a $500 pipe to supervisory agent James Ring, whom the gang nicknamed “the Pipe.”
In all, Flemmi said, Connolly grabbed $235,000 in payoffs, “and maybe more.” In return, he gave the gang the names of informants who were then murdered.
“He gave us information and we acted on it,” Flemmi said. “I have been dealing with law enforcement my entire life and I have been paying them off my entire life.”
Weadick’s lawyer, Bill Crowe, asked Flemmi about his involvement in the murder of DiSarro, whom the feds were attempting to recruit to testify against Salemme. Flemmi claims he was visiting Salemme in his ex-wife’s home in Sharon when he stumbled across Salemme’s now-deceased son and Weadick strangling DiSarro in the kitchen.
Flemmi says he left the house immediately as soon as he saw what was happening.
But Crowe produced a debriefing document of Flemmi’s son Billy in which he said that his father had told him he was involved in DiSarro’s slaying.
“Did you say that to your son?” Crowe asked Flemmi.
“Absolutely not!” Flemmi said.
Flemmi’s son is named William Hussey St. Croix.
“Did he change his name,” Crowe asked, “to avoid the infamy of the Flemmi name?”
“You’d have to ask him,” Flemmi said.
When Flemmi was debriefed in what is called a DEA 6, he was supposed to recount every crime he committed. But he neglected to mention the murder of DiSarro. Crowe asked him why.
“Because there was no body,” he said, “and I was concerned about the welfare of my children.”
Flemmi also admitted that he committed perjury during the initial court hearings on his claims of immunity in 1998.
“Everything was a lie up to that point,” Flemmi said, referring to the time before he became a cooperating witness. “I admitted that, the whole thing was a lie, how many times I gotta tell you that?”
Flemmi, who will be back on the witness stand this morning, was once again asked about some of the 50 murders he admits to have taken part in in four different states. Many of the murders he blamed on his partner, Whitey Bulger.
Crowe asked him about the murder in Nevada of Peter Poulos, a potential witness against him.
“He was in the Roxbury group,” Flemmi said, “I met him through (Wimpy) Bennett.”
“Who was another person you also murdered?” Crowe asked.
“Yes,” said Flemmi.
As Flemmi was cross examined, Salemme occasionally shook his head. When Flemmi left the witness stand, he avoided making eye contact with his old underworld partner, but Salemme glared at the Rifleman as marshalls escorted him from Courtroom 17.
At the morning recess, Salemme turned to the reporters in the first row of the gallery and silently mouthed one word.
“Unbelievable,” he said.