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Whitey Bulger Behind Bars In Plymouth After Returning To Boston

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Whitey Bulger was spending Friday night behind bars at the Plymouth House of Corrections.

After 16 long years as a fugitive, Whitey Bulger landed in Boston Friday afternoon for his first court appearance since his arrest.

Bulger, the former leader of the violent Winter Hill Gang, was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., Wednesday, along with his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig.

He was flown back to Boston with federal agents Friday.  He landed at Logan Airport around 2:30 p.m.

From there, Bulger was taken to Moakley Federal Courthouse in South Boston.

Watch: Bulger’s arrival in South Boston

Bulger made an initial appearance in federal court in South Boston before Magistrate Judge Leo Sorokin at right about 4:00 p.m. on the 1995 indictment on drug, extortion, and racketeering charges.  That hearing lasted about nine minutes and was followed by a hearing before Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler in the same courtroom on a 2000 murder indictment.

Greig also appeared before Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal for a hearing on charges of harboring a fugitive.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

Bulger faces charges of murder, conspiracy, narcotics distribution, extortion and money laundering.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

Bulger’s arrest came just a day after the FBI launched a new campaign to try and find Greig.

There has been rampant speculation that the timing of the new campaign and the arrest were more than just coincidence. The FBI reiterated today that wasn’t the case.

“To ensure that there is no misunderstanding about the FBI’s search for Mr. Bulger, I want to reiterate statements I made earlier on this matter,” Special Agent-In-Charge of the Boston Division, Richard DesLauriers said in a statement Friday afternoon. “Any claim that the FBI knew Mr. Bulger’s whereabouts prior to the FBI’s publicity efforts this week are completely unfounded. When we learned his location, he was arrested promptly.”

Investigators said they were able to lure him out of his apartment Wednesday evening with a “ruse.”

Specifics of the ruse were not revealed, but according to the Wall Street Journal Friday, agents called Bulger in the apartment and told him “his storage locker might have been broken into.”

Once he came outside, he was arrested.

Inside, authorities found dozens of weapons and $800,000 in cash. Some guns were hidden in hollowed out books and some of the money was stuffed inside the apartment walls, according to the Journal.

Bulger’s capture could become a new chapter in an old scandal for the Boston FBI and others.

Related: Keller @ Large: Lessons From Bulger Arrest

If he decides to cut a deal with prosecutors, he could implicate an untold number of local, state and federal law enforcement officials, according to investigators who built a racketeering indictment against Bulger before he fled in 1995.

“If he starts to talk, there will be some unwelcome accountability on the part of a lot of people inside law enforcement,” said retired Massachusetts state police Maj. Tom Duffy.

“Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t want my pension contingent on what he will say at this point.”

Bulger is charged in connection with 19 murders. He had lived in Santa Monica for 15 of the last 16 years, according to his landlord.

Newly-unsealed court documents released Thursday detailed Bulger and Greig’s early travels following Bulger’s 1995 indictment.

In an affidavit dated April 25, 1997, then-FBI Special Agent Charles Gianturco wrote that Bulger and Greig spent time in New York on Long Island and in Grand Isle, La., in 1995 and 1996.

According to the affidavit, Bulger and Greig checked into a hotel under the names “Mr. and Mrs. Tom Baxter” in the fall of 1995, and that Bulger had also used that name when he befriended a man in neighboring Selden and told him he was a merchant seaman.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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