Criminal Justice

Ex-FBI Agent Convicted in 1982 Murder for Tipping Gangsters

A Miami jury has convicted a retired FBI agent accused of cooperating with Boston’s Winter Hill Gang and providing information to gangsters that led to a South Florida murder in 1982.

“Disgraced FBI agent John Connolly, the crime-fighter who fell in with criminals, was convicted of second-degree murder yesterday for a fatal snitch that ended in a bullet for a Yale-graduate-turned-gambling-executive,” reports the Boston Herald.

The slain man, accountant John Callahan, had gone to the FBI in Boston with a tip about a businessman’s murder in Oklahoma. After Connolly revealed Callahan’s help to gang leaders including James “Whitey” Bulger, the accountant was found dead at Miami International Airport, shot to death by a hit man, according to the Herald and the Associated Press.

The verdict follows a two-month trial and 13 hours of jury deliberations over a several-day period. Connolly, who is now 68, is expected to be sentenced in December, reports the Boston Globe. He could be imprisoned for the rest of his life.

Connolly contends he is innocent of the murder charge, and his lawyer, Manuel Casabielle, says he will appeal, the AP reports. One basis with be a ruling by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stanford Blake admitting evidence of corruption that wasn’t directly related to Callahan’s murder.

The defense contended that Connolly was just doing his job as an FBI agent and using gangsters as informants to decimate the New England Mafia, the Globe notes.

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