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Prosecutors rest case against accused US gangster

July 26, 2013

BOSTON (AP) — U.S. prosecutors rested their case against reputed 83-year-old gangster James “Whitey” Bulger on Friday after sometimes gruesome details from witnesses over his alleged role in 19 murders, a string of extortions and other crimes.

Bulger is charged with 32 counts in a racketeering indictment that chronicles his alleged reign as leader of the Winter Hill Gang before he fled Boston in 1994 and became one of the country’s most wanted fugitives. He was arrested in 2011 on the other side of the country.

Bulger’s lawyers are expected to begin presenting witnesses Monday. Defense lawyer J.W. Carney Jr. would not say whether he will take the stand in his own defense.

The jury heard testimony from an FBI agent who described Bulger’s capture. Special Agent Scott Garriola said a tip came in that Bulger and longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig might be living in a California apartment building.

Garriola said he decided to lure Bulger out of the apartment by having the building manager tell him that someone had broken into his storage locker. A few minutes later, Bulger got off the elevator and walked into the garage, where agents were waiting to arrest him.

Agents asked him to get down on his knees, but Bulger, who was dressed in white clothing, initially refused.

“He swore at us a few times, told us he wasn’t going to get down on his knees, there was grease on the floor, things like that,” Garriola said.

Garriola said Bulger initially identified himself as Charles Gasko, but eventually said, “You know who I am. ... I’m Whitey Bulger.”

From that point on, Bulger was cooperative. He led officers to a total of 30 guns — including handguns and machine guns hidden inside holes he had cut into the walls — nearly $822,000 in cash, a stack of knifes and numerous false Social Security cards and fake driver’s licenses, Garriola said.

The judge has yet to rule on a request from prosecutors to bar several defense witnesses from taking the stand on the grounds that their testimony would be irrelevant or repetitive. Chief among those witnesses is Patrick Nee, a former Bulger associate who has been accused of playing a role in several murders.

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