Reporting Jim Armstrong
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BOSTON (CBS) – Jurors in the federal trial of James “Whitey” Bulger heard conflicting reports Tuesday about his FBI informant file.
Department of Justice Special Agent James Marra spent his third straight day on the witness stand. His office was in charge of investigating allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the FBI with regard to its handling of Bulger.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones reports
When under direct examination, Marra spoke at length about the many times he says Bulger met and cooperated with a range of FBI agents to tip them off about underworld activities.
Information included tips about who was trafficking in drugs and who was responsible for “gangland” style murders in and around Boston in the 70s and 80s.
But when defense attorney Hank Brennan took over for cross examination, he got Marra to admit that the informant file has some problems. The file lacks Bulger’s signature or fingerprints, and appears not to have an FBI-approved photograph of Bulger. Nor does it have reports of annual meetings that were supposed to have taken place between Bulger and his handlers, particularly agent John Connolly.
Marra testified that reporting standards for FBI informant files have varied over the years, so those particular things may not have been required.
But Brennan also got Marra to testify that some of what is in that file is bogus.
“Those are the ones that caused me the greatest concern,” Marra told jurors. “John Connolly was trying to protect Mr. Bulger and Mr. Flemmi and himself from their criminal activities.”
Marra said Connolly wrote the bulk of the huge file, and at times included reports that were pure fiction.
Brennan continued his attack:
Brennan: “Did you do anything to confirm this information actually came from Mr. Bulger?”
Marra: “No, I didn’t.”
Brennan: “Did you determine if that was actually accurate?”
Marra: “No, I didn’t verify it.”
Marra’s cross-examination continues Wednesday.
Late Tuesday, Bulger’s defense team filed a motion trying to exclude the weapons and guns recovered from his hideout in California from the trial.
Agents say the money and weapons were hidden in the walls of Bulger’s Santa Monica apartment. The defense says they have no relevance to the case now against him, because they are not included in the current indictment.