|A man convicted of drug dealing in Boston this year told the federal
Drug Enforcement Administration in 1988 that reputed South Boston gangster James (Whitey) Bulger and
others were involved in the trafficking of cocaine from Florida to Boston. According to a DEA investigative
report filed in US District Court in Boston, the man, identified as Patrick Perkins, alleged that Bulger
"arranges for the purchase of multi-kilos of cocaine" in Hollywood, Fla. The report states that Perkins
alleged that Bulger and an associate, Richard Magna, were involved in trafficking the cocaine to the
The report, prepared by DEA Special Agent Robert E. Allen, says that Perkins was interviewed by DEA
officials investigating drug traffickers with links to organized crime. Bulger, identified as a reputed killer
and crime boss by the 1986 President's Commission on Organized Crime, is thought to control illegal
operations in the South Boston area with his close associate, Stephen (The Rifleman) Flemmi.
A spokesman for the DEA in Boston, Stephen A. Morreale, would not comment on the report or
say whether the agency is investigating Perkins' allegations. The DEA report was filed with court
documents in Perkins' case, currently on appeal in US District Court in Boston. Perkins was convicted of
cocaine trafficking by a federal jury this spring. A key witness in his case was James Short, the confidential
informant who worked with the DEA in the undercover sting against federal drug agent Edward K. O'Brien.
O'Brien, an 18-year veteran of the agency who once headed its Springfield office, was indicted last week
on drug trafficking charges.
Sigmund Roos, the attorney who represented Perkins, said he is no longer handling the case. Perkins,
who formerly lived in Boston and now resides in Florida, could not be reached for comment. Bulger could
not be reached yesterday for comment.
According to the DEA report, Perkins said he had a "past association" with the "organization" operated by
Bulger and Flemmi.
The report states that when asked by DEA officials about rumors that an altercation with Flemmi forced
him to leave Boston, Perkins replied he had gotten into an argument with Bulger and "that the city was
not big enough for the both of them so he elected to leave."
According to the report, the DEA officials first sought Perkins' cooperation after undercover agents who
had bought cocaine from him identified themselves and asked him if he was willing to give them information
about drug dealing. Perkins ultimately decided not to cooperate but gave several interviews to the DEA.
Perkins was interviewed at DEA headquarters in Boston on Nov. 6, 1987, by Allen and Paul Brown, a DEA
assistant special agent in charge, according to the report.
The report states that Perkins claimed to know Bulger, Flemmi, and Magna. He also told the agents that he
could "infiltrate Bulger's organization" in Hollywood, Fla., where he claimed that Bulger arranged for the
purchase of cocaine.
The report does not identify Richard Magna. But law enforcement sources in Boston said he is a former
Boston resident who now lives in Florida and has connections to organized crime, including the Angiulo
Perkins' connection to the Bulger-Flemmi crime organization was not made clear in the DEA report.
Sources said yesterday, however, that Perkins and his wife, Lois, formerly lived in South Boston and
were involved in a bar business.
A second court document filed in the case, a transcript of a telephone conversation between Perkins and a
DEA informant, suggests that Perkins did know Bulger well enough to have provided information against him.
The taped transcript does not identify the informant.
In the telephone conversation, Perkins describes his interviews with DEA officials. He angrily complains
that federal authorities are trying to turn him into "a stool pigeon." He then tells the informant that "I'd
have to testify." "Against. . . who, me?" the informant asks. Responds Perkins: "Oh everybody, Whitey,
everybody." He then adds. "They're looking for me. . . for more valuable information."
While the DEA declined comment on whether it is investigating Bulger, law enforcement sources said
yesterday that Bulger and Flemmi are often on the target lists of federal authorities. "They're always
under constant investigation," one law enforcement source said yesterday.
Since 1980, the Massachusetts State Police and US Drug Enforcement Administration have alternately
targeted Bulger and Flemmi, but the two have been able to avoid arrest.
Last year, the Boston Globe Spotlight Team reported that Bulger, the brother of Senate President William
Bulger, had a special relationship with the FBI's Boston office. Some state troopers and DEA agents have
suggested that relationship helped Bulger avoid prosecution, but James F. Ahearn, special agent in charge
of the FBI in Boston, told the Spotlight Team, "We specifically deny that there has been special treatment
of this individual."
DEA agents in Boston have targeted Bulger for much of the last decade. Sources say the DEA suspects
Bulger of having been involved in marijuana and cocaine trafficking if not directly, then by accepting
payment, known in the underworld as "tribute," for allowing cocaine traffickers to use the waterfront or
to bring cocaine into South Boston. Six years ago, federal agents rushed into a cinder block warehouse in
South Boston and seized 10 tons of marijuana, valued at $6 million. Six men were arrested. But informants
later told agents they missed Bulger by 10 minutes.
In mid-1984, DEA agents inserted a listening device in
the windowsill of a condominium where Bulger was living in Quincy. The agents obtained no evidence, and
little intelligence. Mostly, they got sound from a blaring television, which agents believe Bulger left on
purposely to drown out his conversations. During that same operation, DEA agents succeeded where
Massachusetts State Police detectives had failed: They planted a listening device in the panel of Bulger's
car door. Instead of a TV, agents heard a car radio when Bulger and Flemmi talked while in the car. Bulger
soon discovered the device when he brought his car to a South Boston garage. DEA agents rushed in to
retrieve the $50,000 worth of surveillance equipment.
Those who know and like Bulger say he has nothing to do with drugs indeed, that he personally
abhors drugs. Shortly after the President's Commission on Organized Crime published its report in 1986,
alleging that Bulger was involved in, among other things, murders and drug trafficking, Bulger told friends
at a wedding reception that the report was flawed. "I'm no drug trafficker," he reportedly said.