Greek-American Fotios “Freddy” Geas, along with other two men, has been charged with the 2018 prison killing of the notorious Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger.
On Thursday, the Justice Department said, Geas, the 55-year-old who authorities also say was a Mafia hitman together with Paul J. DeCologero, 48, and Sean McKinnon, 36, were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
The prosecutor’s verdict maintained that Geas and DeCologero struck Bulger in the head multiple times, causing his death. McKinnon is charged separately with making false statements to a federal agent.
Bulger’s killing came hours after he was transferred to USP Hazelton in West Virginia from a prison in Florida where he had been serving a life sentence for eleven murders and other crimes.
The possible motive for Bulger’s transfer to Hazelton raised questions about why the known “snitch” was placed in the West Virginia prison’s general population instead of more protective housing.
Boston crime boss “deliberately sent to his death,” family claims
In an emailed statement, Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said that “in the truest of ironies, Bulger’s family has experienced the excruciating pain and trauma their relative inflicted on far too many, and the justice system is now coming to their aid.”
According to law enforcement officials at the time, Geas and DeCologero were identified as suspects shortly after Bulger’s death but weren’t charged while the investigation dragged on for years.
Thirty unnamed employees of the prison together with the Federal Bureau of Prisons were sued by Bulger’s family over his death, alleging it appeared the gangster was “deliberately sent to his death.” A federal judge dismissed the family’s lawsuit in January.
Hank Brennan, who represented Bulger and his family, accused the Department of Justice of waiting to bring charges until after the family’s lawsuit was dismissed to avoid having information come out in the criminal case that could be used against the government in the family’s civil case.
Brennan said “They are simply protecting themselves like they’ve always done, there could be no ongoing investigation that took this long,” commenting on the fact that Geas and his team were placed in solitary confinement throughout the probe.
According to the federal bureau, Bulger ran the largely Irish mob in Boston in the 1970s and 1980s and also served as an FBI informant who ratted on his gang’s main rival.
He later became one of the nation’s most-wanted fugitives, though he strongly denied ever being a government informant.
On Thursday, Daniel Kelly, an attorney for Geas, said that the charges aren’t a surprise but don’t justify his client’s continued placement in solitary confinement. It wasn’t immediately clear if McKinnon and DeCologero had attorneys to comment on their behalf.
Geas the Greek-American Mafia hitman as branded
In 2011, Geas and his brother were sentenced to life in prison for their roles in several violent crimes, including the 2003 killing of Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, a Genovese crime family boss in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Geas was allegedly a close associate of the Mafia and acted as an enforcer but was not an official “made” member because he is Greek rather than Italian.
The Greek-American and DeCologero are charged in West Virginia federal court with aiding and abetting first-degree murder along with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
Besides the joint charge, Geas faces a separate charge of murder by a federal inmate serving a life sentence in prison in Hazelton. DeCologero is being held in another federal prison facility.
The 2015 American film ‘Black Mass’ was inspired by Whitey Bulger.