MIAMI — A former FBI agent imprisoned for shielding Boston mobsters from prosecutors was indicted Wednesday in the 1982 murder of a former Miami gambling executive whose body was stuffed into the trunk of his Cadillac.
Former agent John J. Connolly Jr., 64, was charged in state court with first-degree murder and conspiracy in the killing of former World Jai Alai President John Callahan.
Callahan had been shot twice in the head and a dime was placed on his chest, an underworld signal to others not to "drop a dime" or snitch on other mobsters, investigators said. His body was found in a parking lot at the Miami airport.
"I can tell you he's not guilty," said Edward J. Lonergan, a lawyer for Connolly. "I've known John since 1961. John is a good, good man and this is a sad, sad process. It's just very disappointing."
Investigators said Callahan was a financial advisor to Boston's Winter Hill Gang, run by fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger, who was previously charged in Callahan's murder. Also charged in the death are Bulger's top lieutenant Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi and alleged triggerman John V. Martorano, who agreed to testify against his former mob bosses.
"Connolly assisted the criminal activities of the Winter Hill Gang by supplying information and intelligence to Bulger, Flemmi and Martorano that led directly to the murder of several individuals," State Atty. Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. "But for the actions of John Connolly, these murders could not and would not have happened."
Flemmi, 70, pleaded guilty in February 2004 for his role in the slaying and was sentenced to life in prison. Flemmi, implicated in 10 other murders, was also sentenced to life last year after pleading guilty to killing another World Jai Alai executive, Roger Wheeler, who was shot to death in Tulsa, Okla., in 1981.
Connolly is serving a 10-year sentence in federal prison in North Carolina for convictions on racketeering, obstruction of justice and other charges stemming from his role in protecting Bulger and others from prosecution while using them as FBI informants.
Connolly tipped off Bulger in 1995 about a looming racketeering indictment, prompting Bulger to flee Boston. Bulger, implicated in 18 murders, remains a fugitive on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list with a $1-million reward for information leading to his capture.