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Businessman Testifies That Bulger Demanded Cash At Gunpoint

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Jim Armstrong Jim Armstrong
Jim Armstrong is an Emmy-award winning reporter who joined WBZ-TV in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Former FBI agent Gerald Montanari was tight-lipped as he left federal court after two grueling days on the stand, when, at times, it felt like the FBI itself was on trial.

Montanari once handled underworld informant Brian Halloran for the FBI.

On Tuesday he testified he never tried to get help or protection even after Halloran repeatedly told federal authorities that he feared James “Whitey” Bulger and his partner Stephen Flemmi were going to kill him for talking.

When Halloran and his innocent friend Michael Donahue ended up shot in May of 1982, it was allegedly by Bulger himself.

In old FBI documents, obtained by WBZ, you can see that as he lay dying on the street, Halloran told police that a man named Jimmy Flynn was his killer. But Halloran was mistaken. Montanari testified that even though he and other agents had reason to suspect Bulger and Flemmi in the Halloran/Donahue slayings, they said nothing to investigators.

In other testimony, jurors heard from businessman Michael Solimando. He claims Bulger extorted $400,000 from him, claiming Solimando’s business partner murdered former Bulger associate John Callahan, and owed it to Bulger.

Solimando described to jurors how Bulger held a gun to his head, then a machine gun to his groin, and warned him not to tell police, because Whitey and his crew would find out immediately.

Solimando eventually paid up, saying the streets of Boston were littered with people who told police too much about Bulger, and he didn’t want to be one of them.

His testimony continues tomorrow.

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