BOSTON – An FBI agent on Monday portrayed the longtime girlfriend of former Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger as a willing companion who changed her identity, made clandestine phone calls and moved from place to place during their years on the run together.
The testimony came during a bail hearing for Catherine Greig, who was apprehended with Bulger last month in Santa Monica, Calif., more than 16 years after Bulger fled Boston. Greig's lawyer has asked that she be released on bail while awaiting trial, but prosecutors want her to remain behind bars.
Bulger, now 81, the former leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, was one of the FBI's most-wanted fugitives. He is charged in a racketeering indictment with participating in 19 murders. Greig is charged with harboring a fugitive.
During detailed testimony Monday, FBI Special Agent Michael Carazza portrayed Greig, now 60, as a woman who fled Boston willingly with Bulger and then became an active participant in his quest to elude authorities.
Responding to questions from Assistant U.S. Attorney James Herbert, Carazza said Greig used fake identities to purchase prescription drugs for both Bulger and herself, and was seen handing him prepaid phone cards while he made secret calls from a pay phone at a Walmart store in Louisiana.
Carazza said Bulger's former top lieutenant, Kevin Weeks, told authorities that Bulger initially fled Boston in late 1994 with another longtime girlfriend, Teresa Stanley, but returned in early 1995 to drop her off and pick up Greig. Carazza said Greig's twin sister, Margaret McCusker, drove Greig to a park in South Boston, where she was picked up by Weeks, who brought her to another park, where Bulger was waiting. McCusker has offered to help get her sister released on bail by putting up her Boston home as collateral.
Carazza said Bulger and Greig used various false identities as fugitives. When the couple was captured in California, authorities found more than a dozen fake IDs.
From early 1995 through late 1996, the couple spent time in Selden and Holtsville, N.Y., and Chicago, and also spent months in Grand Isles, La.
During their time on the run, Carazza said, both Bulger and Greig made phone calls to friends and relatives. He said Greig called McCusker at least three times, after apparently making arrangements for McCusker to take the calls at a friend's or neighbor's house rather than on her home phone.
McCusker, who sat in the front row of the courtroom listening to the testimony, shook her head several times as if to disagree with Carazza's descriptions. She was swarmed by reporters as she left the courthouse, but declined to comment.
Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal recessed the hearing until Wednesday, when Greig's attorney, Kevin Reddington, is expected to argue for Greig's release. Boal said family members of some of Bulger's alleged victims may also testify.
Carazza said the FBI found that Bulger was well-prepared for a life on the run. He said Bulger had a safe deposit box in Dublin and another in London, where a phone number for his brother, former Massachusetts Senate President William Bulger, was listed as a contact.
Carazza said authorities seized more than $800,000 in cash from the apartment in Santa Monica, where Bulger and Greig had been living for much of the last 16 years. He said they also found about 30 weapons and more than a dozen sets of documents for false identifications, including social security cards and birth certificates.
Greig's lawyer has argued in court papers that prosecutors will have a difficult time proving that Greig aided Bulger, which is necessary to prove a charge of harboring a fugitive.
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