Saturday, April 24, 2004

Uncle Sam Made Bombs at Illiopolis Site 

The property of Formosa Plastics plant near Illiopolis, Ill., which blew up last night, was formerly the site of an Army ordinance plant. Just prior to the start of World War II the federal government purchased 20,000 acres of prime farm land in central I llinois and built a massive munitions factory. The land was contaminated with TNT.

According to writer Becky Bradway:

"The Ordnance grounds are still filled with abandoned buildings,
roads, and broken cement slabs. Igloos that once held powdery
explosives remain in the fields. Farmers use them to store grain for
the cows and chickens.

Cleaning up the chemicals, bomb debris, and trash was a problem
both during and after the war. According to John Lyon, during the
war, waste material was hauled off to the burning grounds at the
south end of the plant near the river. Each day, Lyon oversaw the
removal of twenty-four truckloads of waste, some of which found its
way into the groundwater and the Sangamon River. When the war
ended, workers rinsed buildings with water that flowed to runoff
sites and into the river. Visible wastes, like fragments, chemicals, and
heavy metals for explosives, remain buried in landfills.

"Tables, chairs and fixtures were impregnated with TNT," Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency staffer Andrew Jankowski told a
reporter from the Decatur Herald & Review in 2000. "They burned it
all to ash, but the burning process does not necessarily remove the
explosive elements." [read more]

Illiopolis: Population 916 

Out on Illinois prairie the state and county highways make right angle turns, passing ghost towns and farm fields. These forgotten places harbor a long history that most Americans have chosen to forget.

The burg of Illiopolis between Springfield and Decat ur is a good example. Last night, an explosion at the Formosa Plastics plant near Illiopolis exploded sending dioxin-tainted poly chlorines hundreds of feet into the air. The chemical catastrophe didn't happen without warning, however. State and federal r egulators had cited the plant for fugitive air and water emissions many times in the past.

The plant was formerly owned by Borden's, the company that most people associate with dairy products. In 2002, Borden's sold the financially-troubled PVC manufac turing firm to Formosa Plastics, a Tiawanese-owned company.

In the September 2002 edition of E magazine writer Becky Bradway of Millikin University in Decatur wrote an article about the health consequences of living in a rural community near t h e PVC plant:

In April of this year (2002), the Illiopolis plant was sold to Taiwan-based PVC-maker Formosa Plastics, which not only has a record of environmental violations in several states but was also tied to campaign finance scandals in the Clinton W hi te House.

Chemicals were and still are dumped in rivers and wells and underground tanks and landfills, floating and settling all across the Sangamon Valley. Companies dodge environmental protection laws by getting waivers and exemptions. Since we n eed ou r conveniences, the wastes have to go somewhere -- why not some hick’s backyard?

When the fish turned up dead, my relatives blamed Borden. But with so many companies and farms polluting the Sangamon River, we can never be sure. But Borden has an u nen viab le environmental record. It was even caught shipping 2,500 drums of highly toxic mercury waste to South Africa. The stockpiled drums leaked contaminants -- a disaster that led to both criminal and civil investigations in South Africa. ...

The Il lino is Po llution Control Board exempted Illiopolis’ Borden plant from many Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. Borden’s wastewater is still high in “total dissolved solids, or TDS” -- all of the solid contaminants put together, like calci um, m agnesi um, iron, lead, nitrates, chloride and sulfate. This is twice as high as the average, and the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources says that these flows are carried downstream to the Sangamon River. The plant can legally dump 8 00,000 gallon s of wastewater into the stream every day. In two miles, this water reaches the Sangamon. Because the area around the stream is wooded, locals hunt and fish there. EPA studies show the river from Decatur to Springfield to be especially toxic: the river wh ere we caught fish, used water for crops, and
walked when the currents were low. The river that one naturalist calls “a drainage ditch.”

Because the water runs low and bends, poisons gather, plants die, and invasi ve spe cies bloo m. Little is washed away.

In May of 1999, Borden Chemicals and Plastics did to Illiopolis what it did to Geismar, Louisiana: It released 500 pounds of vinyl chloride gas. An “accidental” release, they said. Ten years before this, in 1989, the Illinois At torney General’s Office sued the plant for releasing the same gas 14 times over a four-year period. In response to the 1999 incident, Borden was forced to hold public hearings detailing an emergency evacuation plan. Not counting accident s, the plant routi nely releases 65,000 pounds of vinyl chloride and 40,000 pounds of vinyl acetate into the Central Illinois air every year. Along with causing cancer, vinyl chloride is suspected of disrupting our hormones, which makes us -- especially w omen an d girls -- v ulnerable to all kinds of illnesses. I was not reassured by what I found out about Borden
Chemical and its history of environmental abuses, but I can’t assume the same about the residents of Illiopolis.

Why did the thousand people in this town welcome Bo rden Chemical, working there, sending their children to work there? Because they need to eat. ... [read more]

The Greenpeace Report on PVCs 

excerpted from the Greenpeace report on PVCs and dioxins:

We are certain of the following:

A large number of man-made chemicals that have been released into the environment, as well as a few natural ones, have the potential to disrupt the endocrine system of animals, including humans. Among these are the persistent, bioaccumulative, organohalogen compounds that include some pesticides (fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides) and industrial chemicals, other synthetic products, and some metals.

Many wildlife populations are already affected by these compounds. The impacts include thyroid dysfunction in birds and fish; decreased fertility in birds, fish, shellfish, and mammals; decreased hatching success in birds, fish and turtles; gross birth deformi ties in birds, fish and turtles; metabolic abnormalities in birds, fish, and mammals; behavioural abnormalities in birds; demasculinization andfeminization in male fish, birds, and mammals; defeminization and masculinization of female fish a nd birds; and compromised immune systems in birds and mammals.

4. Hormone pollutants and PVC

Some of the chemicals known to disrupt the hormone system are used mainly in industrial applications rather than in consumer products and only indirectly reach the consumer, through releases into the environment and food chain during the production proces s and/or use. There is one product, however, which is produced in quantities of millions of tons per year, and which is routinely made into consumer prod ucts. It is PVC.

There are two main groups of hormone disrupting chemicals associated with PVC. Duri ng the production, disposal and combustion of PVC, large quantities of dioxins are formed as an unwanted by-product.40 Dioxin already has a reputation a s the most toxic man-made chemical ever. Most attention has focused on dioxin's carcinogenicity, but it is also a potent hormone disruptor. The other group of hormone disruptors associated with PVC is the phthalates.41 These are plasticisers - chemicals mixed in with the PVC to soften it and make it flexible. [read more]

Chemical Plant Explosion Spreads Deadly Dioxins Across Central Illinois 

The Springfield Journal-Register reports that the town of Illiopolis, Ill. has been evacuated to the Hickory Point Mall in Decatur, after an explosion at a PVC piping plant rocked the town late last night.

PVC plastic contain dioxins and furans the are hazardous to human health.

We're treating it as a worst case scenario," said Sheriff Neil Williamson. "We feel as if the cloud of smoke is toxic."

None of the initial news accounts about the explosion, however, report that PCVs are one of the most common ways that deadly dioxin is spread into the environment.

The blast, which caused a fireball to soar 100 feet above the plant, rattled windows in Springfield and as far as Findley, Ill., 52 miles away, the Journal reported in today's edition.

For more on the chemical explosion click [here.]

Seveso All Over Again: A Dioxin Cloud Rises Over Central Illinois 

At 10:45 p.m last night, an explosion ripped through the Formosa Plastics plant in Illiopolis, Ill, according to the Associated Press. The plant manufactured plastic PCV piping. PCVs, which are a chlorine-based substance, contain high amounts of toxic dioxins.

Two people are known dead and two are missing. Nearby residents have been evacuated to a mall in Decatur. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has set up a emergency response center in Springfield. A section of Interstate 72 has be en shut down.

Rachel's Environmental and Health Weekly has reported extensively on the dangers of PCVs:

Vinyl chloride production is also inherently a source of dioxins, a highly toxic substance that can cause cancer and other illnesses in humans even at very low exposure levels. Dioxins are a global health threat because they persist in the environment and can travel long distances. At very low levels, near those to which the general population is exposed, dioxins have been linked to immune system suppression, reproductive disorders, a variety of cancers, and endometriosis. According to a 1994 report by the British firm, ICI Chemicals & Polymers Ltd., "It has been known since the publication of a paper in 1989 that these oxychlorination reactions [used to make vinyl chloride and some chlorinated solvents] generate polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs). The reactions include all of the ingredients and conditions necessary to form PCDD/PCDFs.... It is difficult to see how any of these conditions could be modified so as to prevent PCDD/PCDF formation without seriously impairing the reaction for which the process is designed."In other words, dioxins are an unavoidable consequence of making PVC. Dioxins created by vinyl chloride production are released by on-site incinerators, flares, boilers, wastewater treatment systems and even in trace quantities in vinyl resins. [read more]

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Case of the Missing Sex Tape 

In August 1984, a videotape inexplicably disappeared from the evidence locker of the St. Louis Prosecutor's office. The original tape had been entered into evidence at the trial of child molestor Mark Molasky. Molasky was the grandson of Willie Molasky, who represented the Chicago Mafia's interests in the gambling and porn business in St. Louis for decades.

In the 1970s and 1980s, before he was busted, Mark Molasky ran the family's magazine distribution business here. One of the company's executives was Fred Steinbach, who worked as John Ashcroft's finance chairman during his first senatorial campaign.

The tape that disappeared showed Molasky's former wife performing felatio on an infant. She performed the sex act at Molasky's behest. Molasky was convicted and sentenced to 32 years.

When he appealed his sentence, his defense asked for the evidence. It was gone. There were other copies of the tape, but the original included sex acts by other indiviudals that wasn't shown to the jury.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Louis J. Rose reported on Aug. 19, 1984 on the disappearance of the tape from the custody of the prosecutor George "Buzz" Westfall's office.

"It showed Molasky's fiancee and now estranged wife, Karen DeAnn Molasky, performing s ex acts with a 3-year-old boy," wrote Rose. "Jurors could hear Molasky's voice on the tape, directing whte he wanted her to do.

"Another segment -- not viewed by the jury -- showed Molasky and other adults engaging in sex acts. The identities of the othe r people have not been disclosed. But sources said they included several women employed as hotesses and waitresses at a well-known private club."

The disppearance of the tape is even more questionable because of who was working as an investigator for the prosecutor's office at the time. Investigator Jack Patty is cited in last graf of Rose's story. Patty was a former St. Louis County police detective. During his checkered tenure as a detective, Patty was the partner of Pete Vasel, the most notorious law enforcement officer in St. Louis County history. In the early 1970s, Patty and Vasel were kicked out of the County police department for colluding with criminals. They were later reinstated. After retiring from the department, Vasel worked for Molasky.

One person who would have known who appeared on the missing sex tape was the late Buzz Westfall, who died last year.

My IWW Dues Are in Arrears 

I remember coming from bowling alley in Shrewsbury with my parents one night in the early 1960s. We passed by a Laclede Gas facility. The gas workers were picketing the place. I rolled down the window and told them to go back to work. My dad, who never laid hand on me, turned around, while he was driving, and started slapping me.

Flash forward 35 years to 1997, and I'm being sworn in to the Industrial Workers of the World by Bob Tibbs Jr. whose late father headed the Lacled Gas Workers Union. Tibbs signed my little red book and noted in it that I was a member of the publishing arm of the union. I then bought some IWW union dues stamps from him that must have dated back to before the Wobblies were purged from the U.S. by Attorney General Mitchell Palmer in 1919. It was more of a symbolic act than anything else because the IWW is little more than a shell of its former self nowadays days.

When I was hired at the Riverfront Times I tacked my little red book to entrance of my cubicle. I remember straw boss and corporate ax man Andy Van De Voord eyeing it on one his visits to St. Louis. Obviously, New Times, the owner of the RFT didn't think my union affiliation was a joke. When New Times fired me sometime later, I wasn't given a any explanations for my termination. My unorganized colleagues helped carry my belongings to my car. All of them have now been fired or quit, too. The moral of this story, if there is one, is never under estimate capitalist tyranny. They don't believe in compromise and neither should you.

News from the Ruffled Feather 

Just back from the AFL-CIO-sponsored Union-Industries Show at America's Center in downtown St. Louis. The free show runs through Monday. So there's plenty of time to browse for complimentary ball point pens, rulers and key chains.You can also sign up for raffles to win union-made products, including all brands of American made automobiles and trucks. Among the unions that have a booth at the show is the St. Louis newspaper guild. I got a free date book from Communications Workers of America and a copy of the The Ruffled Feather.

The Guild reps manning the booth told me that one of the sticking points in the protracted contract negotiations with Pulitzer Inc., the owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is a rule that would allow management to fire an employee without any warning, the so-called "one strike and your out" edict. If the Guild allows this rule to take effect, workers at the Post-Dispatch might as well not have a union. I got fired wit hout any warning from the non-union, scabby Riverfront Times three years ago without any reason or advance notice. I'm still out work.

According to The Ruffled Feather, the bosses at the Post-Dispatch are makes boodles of cas h. Here's an approxiate tab of their total annual compensation packages including salary and bonuses:

Robert C. Woodworth, CEO -- $3.5 million

Terance C.Z. "Scumbag" Egger, publisher -- $617,500

Matthew G. Kraner, general manager -- $407,300

Given these obscene compensations packages, it's safe to estimate that editor Ellen Soetber, managing editor Arnie Robbins and editorial page editor Christy Bertelson all have annual pay exceeding six figures. Do any of these slackers actually think they're worth that much?

Ac cording to estimates in the Ruffled Feather it would take a top-paid reporter, who makes $55,000 a year, 64 years to make as much money as the CEO makes in one year.

If the Guild strikes the Post-Dispatch, I can personally guarantee that circulation in Dogtown, where I live, will drop precipitously. For starters, the paper box outside my apartment will be gone.

A-B Promotes South St. Louis Diet 

Anheuser-Busch Inc. took out a full-page ad in today's St. Louis Post-Disptach to advise South Beach dieters to keep guzzling brewskis. The brewer claims that its products contain no maltose, which is a no-no for South Beach dieters.

That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles 

A sixth-grade student in South Orange, N.J. has been suspended for threatening an algeric teacher with a peanut butter cookie, according to an AP brief.

Plumber's Butt Protected by First Amendment, ACLU Says 

The Associated Press reports this morning that Louisiana state lawmaker Derrick Shepherd has introduced a bill that would make wearing low-slung pants illegal. The proposed law would be added to the state's obscenity law. The law would fine low-riders $500 and possibly include a jail sentence.

Joe Cook of Louisiana's American Civil Liberties Union has responded that the law violates First Amendment rights of many Americans.
"I can think of a lot of workers, plumbers, who are working and expose their buttocks ..."

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Hoover's Background on PT's Parent Co. -- VCG Holdings 

VCG Holding Corp. (OTC: VCGH)

390 Union Blvd., Ste. 540
Lakewood, CO 80228 (Map)
Phone: 303-934-2424


Covered by Amy Schein

This company bares it all for the entertainment of its customers. VCG Holding Corp. owns and operates nightclubs operating under the names PT's Showclub and The Platinum Club that feature live adult entertainment. In addition to exotic dancers, the clubs offer dining and bar services, as well as VIP rooms intended for entertaining business clients. The company's nightclubs are located in Honolulu, Indianapolis, Memphis, and St. Louis. VCG has also purchased the Centerfolds nightclub in Denver as well as another property in Minneapolis, and has plans to open an additional club in Phoenix. CEO Troy H. Lowrie owns more than 60% of VCG Holding.

Key Numbers

Company Type
Public (OTC:

Fiscal Year-End
2003 Sales (mil.)
1-Year Sales Growth
2003 Net Income (mil.)
2003 Employees
1-Year Employee

Key People

Chairman and CEO
Troy H. Lowrie 

President and Director
Micheal L. Ocello 

CFO and Director
Donald W. Prosserr

A Tale of Two Centervilles or Centrevilles 

I interviewed Mike Clemens of the Illinois Department of Revenue on Feb. 25, 2002 to find out how sales tax money due to Centreville, Ill. from PT's strip club wound up hundreds of miles away in Pyatt County, Ill. Here's what I was told:

There are two other Centrevilles spelled with ER rather than RE in Illinois. One is in Pyatt County, which is near Champaign. The other is in White County, which is in Southern Illinois. Both of these communities are unincorporated. So in theory they should not receive any sales tax revenue back. Instead, it would be sent to the county.

The Centerville that was credited was the one in Pyatt County near Champaign. The misappropriation of revenues goes back to 1998, Clemens says. Under state statute, the municiplity can only be reimbursed for the error going back six months. Mayor Seaberry of Centerville notified the state of the "mistake" in June or July of 2001. So the state was bound under the law to return one percent of the sales tax revenue trhough Jan. 2001.

The Department of Revenue sends out lists of businesses to Pyatt County, because it has an unincorporated town named Centerville, and to Centreville in St. Clair County The local officials are then responsible for checking to see which businesses are doing business within their jurisdictions, says Clemens.

PT's and VIP Oriental "Spa" 

During my 2002 interview with the Centreville city attorney and mayor, the city attorney expressed an opinion that PT's and VIP Oriental Spa were somehow connected based on a recollection that their advertising was tied together:

Now VIP spa is diagonally placed from PT’s ,,, it’s a white house … that’s different one.

Now what’s the difference with whether they license them as a spa or a strip club.

Mayor: Part of it is the liquor license

Robinson: Part of it is to dance and stuff. I’ve never been any of them. But the strip clubs are supposed to have live, nude entertainment and dancing. You can imagine what they do at a spa. If you only have a house a regular-sized house, you don’t see any boardwalks like at the Fox Theater . I don’t think there is much dancing going on, do you?

And also the VIP spa and the 157 spa are both near the highway. And the big show club PT’s and the VIP, I think, are owned by the same people. The dancing and entertainment is all at the PT’s and then you walk across the street and I’ll leave up your imagination what you think they do at the VIP spa in that white house.

Are you pretty sure that VIP is owned by PT’s?

Robinson: No I’m not.

Mayor: I don’t think so at all. I really think it’s owned by the man it used to be Millas’ steakhouse there. …

Mayor: Okay, are there any more questions? Okay, Laura, …

Robinson: I said that because in the paper’s they had that $5 coupon , a $5 coupon to get into VIP spa. I don’t know if it was near PT’s. But it seemed like one time they had co-advertsing. But I’m not sure who owns what.

Mayor: Okay, thanks Laura.

Robinson: You’re welcome. Bye-bye, Carl. (hangs up)

According to the Court Record: Debunking Tucci's Revisionist History of PT's  

In promoting PT's in her column yesterday, Linda Tucci of the Post-Disptach failed to include any background information on the founder's criminal indictments in 1994:

In the
United States Court of Appeals
For the Seventh Circuit

No. 95-2244






Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Illinois, East St. Louis Division.
No. 93-CR-30103--William D. Stiehl, Judge.


Before POSNER, Chief Judge, and CUDAHY, and FLAUM,
Circuit Judges.

CUDAHY, Circuit Judge. For more than ten years, De-
fendant Daniel Griffith worked in a managerial capacity
for the Hal Lowrie entertainment organization. Lowrie's
organization ran a large network of nightclubs, which included
country-western clubs, topless nightclubs and, begin-
ning in 1985, brothels ("massage parlors"). In 1993, a fed-
eral grand jury returned indictments against several per-
sons involved with the Lowrie enterprise. In a three-count
indictment, Griffith was charged with violating the RICO
statute (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organiza-
tions), 18 U.S.C. sec. 1962(c), conspiracy to violate the RICO
statute, 18 U.S.C. sec. 1962(d), and conspiracy to commit
money laundering, 18 U.S.C. secs. 1956 and 371. On Feb-
ruary 13, 1995, Griffith entered a plea of guilty to all three

On appeal, Griffith raises three issues: First, he con-
tests the district court's denial of his motion to dismiss
the money laundering count of the indictment. Second, he
argues that the district court misapplied the Sentencing
Guidelines in computing his sentence. Third, he disputes
the district court's rejection of his motion to invalidate
the Sentencing Guidelines on constitutional and statutory
grounds. We affirm the district court's judgment in all
three respects.

I. Factual Background

Griffith was employed by the Hal Lowrie organization
for many years. Beginning in 1985, his primary duties
were as National Director of a chain of topless nightclubs
known as P.T.'s. However, he maintained involvement
with the "massage parlors" which are the subject of this
case. Griffith lived and worked in Denver, Colorado, while
the "massage parlors" were located in Illinois in the St.
Louis, Missouri, metropolitan area.

In late 1985 and early 1986, though residing in Denver,
Griffith directed the remodeling of one of the houses of
prostitution in Illinois and helped to select its manager.
Griffith also was one of five individuals who received
weekly cash payments of $2000, which were skimmed
from the proceeds of the prostitution operations. These
cash payments were often sent via Federal Express. How-
ever, Griffith sometimes hand-carried both his own and
Lowrie's shares of the skimmed cash back to Denver.
Griffith knew that these funds were derived from the pro-
stitution businesses and was aware of the way in which
the finances of that business were conducted, including
the fact that the prostitutes made interstate telephone
calls to secure approval of charge card payments for pros-
titution services.

The prostitution enterprises were aided in their endeavor
to escape law enforcement efforts by widespread official
corruption. Members of the Lowrie organization bribed
various local government and law enforcement officials in-
cluding the mayor of the Village of Brooklyn, an alder-
man, police officers and a state liquor control inspector.
Griffith admitted in his guilty plea to having participated
in the decision to pay the mayor of the Village of Brooklyn
$250 per week in order to influence him not to take ac-
tion against the Lowrie prostitution enterprise.

II. Motion to Dismiss the Money Laundering Count

Griffith moved to dismiss the money laundering count
on two grounds, only one of which he presses on appeal.
Specifically, he contends that his conviction of money
laundering required the court to make a chain of statutory
linkages which was so tenuous as to render the launder-
ing statute's application to his case constitutionally infirm.
The chain of statutes invoked by the indictment leads
from money laundering back to RICO and thence to the
Travel Act. State prostitution offenses are predicate of-
fenses for the Travel Act. Griffith argues that these stat-
utes are ambiguous in their application to his conduct and,
hence, that the rule of lenity demands that the money
laundering count be dismissed. On appeal, Griffith adds
the new argument that, in light of the Supreme Court's
recent Lopez decision, Congress lacks the authority to
punish his participation in a crime, such as prostitution,
which has traditionally been a matter of local concern.
United States v. Lopez, 115 S. Ct. 1624 (1995).

Returning to Griffith's statutory argument, we note that
the federal money laundering statute reads, in relevant

(a)(1) Whoever, knowing that the property involved
in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of
some form of unlawful activity, conducts or attempts
to conduct such a financial transaction which in fact
involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity--

(A)(i) with the intent to promote the carrying on
of specified unlawful activity;

. . .

shall be sentenced [to a fine or a term of imprison-

18 U.S.C. sec. 1956.

The money laundering count of Griffith's indictment al-
leged the use of various bank accounts in Illinois and
Missouri, carrying the names of several legitimate or
legitimate-appearing businesses, to handle the proceeds
of the prostitution; the maintenance of various credit card
merchant accounts in the same names for the same pur-
poses; the use of interstate telephone calls to obtain ap-
proval of credit card transactions in payment for prostitu-
tion services; the use of Federal Express for the inter-
state transport of skimmed cash proceeds for Griffith and
Lowrie in Denver; and Griffith's personal carriage of
skimmed cash to Denver for his personal benefit and for
delivery to Lowrie. ...

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Post Gives a Blow Job to PT's 

Today, St. Louis Post-Dispatch business columnist Linda Tucci featured an interview with Michael Ocello, an executive for International Entertainment Consultants Inc., the owner of PT's Showclubs and other topless bars, including five Eastside s trip joints. She couldn't have been nicer. Ocello, who also fronts ACE National, a strip-club lobbying group, even revealed to Tucci that he attended Lindbergh High School. Tucci let Ocello compare the sex business to the restaurant trade and then duly
reported that PT's, which is now publicly traded, is going on a buying spree, snatching up strip clubs across the land.

In keeping with his corporate status, Ocello attended the "Gentlemen's Club Owners Expo" at Caesar's Palace in Vegas last August. While at the convention, he partied at the J aguar Club, which was then owned by Michael Galardi. But before Ocello could get out of Dodge, Galardi had been indicted. Earlier last year, Galardi and three San Diego councilmen were arrested by the FBI for a bribery scheme. Galardi, who owns clubs in V egas and San Diego, was charged with attempting to overturn a San Diego ordinance that prohibits nude dancers from touching their patrons. The councilmen allegedly took illegal campaign contributions from front parties.

An employee of Galardi was also charged with paying $42,000 to a San Diego vice cop to tip him off in advance as to when raids were going to go down. In addition, Galardi's underling was charged with gunrunning, including the illegal transfer of 10 Walther PPK .32-caliber pistols with th e serial numbers defaced, 10 M-11 9mm machine guns and 20 silencers.

When the San Diego Union-Tribune asked Ocello to comment on the indictments he expressed concern that the case would feed the negative stereotypes of mafia affiliat ons -- "the Sopranos kind of stuff."

"We're all raising families and sending kids to school," said Ocello, an executive with the Colorado-based PT Showclub chain and president of ACE National, a trade group that represents more than 600 strip
clubs around the country. "We're not doing that so we can go to prison by making a fast buck."

I've been to the PT's in Centreville and can tell you that Tony Soprano's Bada Bing Club is a class joint in comparison. And the Centreville club doesn't have any rules about touching, either. Dancers routinely stick their tits in patrons faces and for a slightly larger tip they'll straddle anybody's lap and dry hump themvelves.

When you strip away the corporate veneer, you'll find that Ocello works for Troy Lowrie, the son of the Hal Lowrie, the founder of PT's. When Hal died in 1994, he was under federal indictment in Southern District of Illinois for money laundering and prostitution. The indictments charged that Lowrie and five others, including the Brooklyn, Ill. police chief, of laundering $2.5 million. In January 1997, Lawrence Ballani, a manager for Troy Lowrie's All Star strip club in Denver, where the company is headquartered, was accused of sexually assaulting one of the dancers. Lowry banished the rapist to East St. Louis to manage one of the company's strip joints here.

When I interviewed Centreville Mayor Frankie Seaberry in 2002, she told me that her city had been getting the short end of the stick from PT's for as long as she could remember.

The population of the predominantly black community has dropped by more than a thousand over the last ten years, to about 6,000, according to the latest census. At the same time, household income remains locked at poverty levels. There are only 13 businesses in the city -- five are sex-related ventures. Seaberry says Centreville has a hard time manning its police force because it can only afford to pay officers a little
over $9 an hour.

To find much needed revenue, the mayor started scouring the city's books. It didn't take long for her to find a curious discrepancy. Seaberry discovered that state sales taxes due to the city from PT's had not been paid for an indeterminate amount of time. Instead, the Illinois Department of Revenue sent the tax money to Piatt County in northern Illinois, where a small unincorporated village of Centerville is located. The upstate Centerville, with the different spelling, is so small it doesn't even appear on road maps.

Illinois levies a 6.25 percent sales tax and is supposed to return one percent of the total to the municipality in which a business is located. Seaberry, who was elected mayor in 1999, says the snafu likely predates her administration and could have been going on for years. Without knowing how long the error continued, it is impossible to estimate the losses incurred by Centreville. At the very least, the misappropriation appears to have cost the city tens of thousands of dollars. If the diversion dates back more than a few years, the short fall would be exponentially greater. Under state law, sales tax data is kept confidential. Moreover, a state statute allows a municipality to recoup only six months worth of back taxes once a discrepancy is confirmed.

"Why shouldn't people know how much sales tax businesses in their communities are paying?" asks Seaberry. When we found the mistake, they (the state) wouldn't tell me how much was owed. In other words, it's a kept secret."

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Revenue would say little more than Mayor Seaberry should be commended for catching the mistake, which he termed significant relative to the size of the city.

Linda, would you please give me a lap dance now ?

Catfish and Crystal 

from Catfish and Crystal by Ernest Kirschten, 1960

... The dog-track at Hanley Road and Olive Street Road in the County was a magnet for toughs. They naturally dominated the "speaks" and "beer flats." Their business instincts were good enough to keep th em from bothering the customers most of the time. The end of Prohibition meant that thaey had to find new activities. The infiltration of labor unions, especially in the building trades, began. Honest men like Oliver Moore of the East St. Louis Central T rades and Labor Union did not surrender, and died for their courage. Both sides of the street were worked. Industries hostile to unions hired gunmen guards. The Hillips Petroleum Company, building a $15 million pipeline and terminal in 1932, employed Carl Shelton, who "had the softest tongue and the bloodiest hands of any gangster who ever operated on the East Side," to protect non-union workers. When Moore refused to "sell out" for $ 30,000, he was machine-gunned in front of his office. Said Carl R. Baldwin:

"Officials of the oil-refining company, shocked at the death of Moore, came forward the next day and expressed their deepest regrets. The lesson of the Ollie Moore case in all legitimate businesmen should have learned by now. It is: You cannot do b us iness with a professional gangster without sharing his reputation. If he has blood on his hands some of it may come off on you. Yet men still go to the local rackets boss when they want a favor.""

It Pays to Advertise 

This week's edition of the Arch Chronicle includes an ad for Public Eye, wheeler-dealer Richard Callow's PR firm.

Alderman McMillan's Boodle 

Nineteenth Ward Alderman Mike McMillan supported the renaming of a park in his ward in honor of the late Missouri Sen. J.B. "Jet" Banks, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported today. Banks was influential political powerbroker in St. Louis politics for decades. Is McMillan being groomed to take his place? This week's Arch Chronicle lists McMillan's campaign war chest is hefty than anybody else's in the city except for the mayor. The Chronicle reports has $114,469 stashed away.

The Naked and the Dead or How We Were Rumsfelded into Submission 

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's glib responses to the extension of troop deployments in Iraq are analyzed quite well in today's column by Clarence Page.

The Pentagon doesn't have enough troops in country to adequately respond to the recent increase in hostilities. So to cover the need, Rumsfeld has extended the terms of duty in Iraq for those who have already been there for more than a year. When questioned about this y last week by the Washington press corps, Rummy testily responded:

"Come on, people are fungible. You can have them here or there. We have announced the judgment. It is clear. You understand it. Everyone in the room understands that we need additional -- the commander decided he'd like to retain in-country an additional plus or minus 20,000 people, and that is what we are doing."

"Plus or minus 20,000 people?" "People are fungible."

Evidentally, people, in this case, American troops, are just numbers in a ledger to Rummy. The American Hertiage College Dictionary defines "fungible" as "Returnable or negotiable in kind or by substitution, as a quanity of grain for an equal amount of the same kind of grain. Interchangeable. Something that is exchangeable or substiutable." In other words, American military personnel are considered by the Secretary of Defense as nothing more than a commodity; they're chattel; pawns in Bush's game.

Quote of the Day 

Excerpted from today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial:

"Who gives a damn about gay marriage or Martha Stewart?" Lt. Jason Johnston told a reporter. "... I don't think the American people understand that this is full-blown guerrilla warfare. T his is a real war. Last year was a cakewalk."

My Notes on Mel Waxman, NYPD 

Mel Waxman, retired NYPD detective and HSCA investigator
phone interview: 2/21/97

On HSCA report:
By the time the HSCA final report was issued, Waxman learned that those running the Committee had predetermined what was to be published.
“We found out two or three months prior to that that they had already wrote the report.

“We found it was a huge exercise in futility (their investigation).”

Waxman surmised that HSCA chief counsel Robert Blakey wrote the report in advance of them submitting their evidence.

His reasons for wanting to be an HSCA investigator:

“I kind of thought that I would be part of history and I’d contribute something.”

Waxman says the Committee interviewed thousands for the job and only 26 investigators were selected.

Waxman says that the STLPD cooperated with Baetz and himself, while the pair was investigating the King assasination here.

He was 42 years old when he began working on the HSCA investigation. He worked for the Committee two years.

He is 63 now.

During his police career he worked “undercover” for four years.
He was uniformed in Harlem and the East Bronx. Then he worked in robbery and homicide.

The Alton bank robbery

Waxman expressed a belief that the Ray brothers, Jerry, John and James all were participants in the Alton Bank robbery and the money was used to finance James’ later exploits.

“I’d bet my pension on it.”

Baetz and the Ray family:

“Pete knew them real well.”

on the St. Louis theory:

“I have to agree there was a conspiracy.”

On racist attorney and politician J.B. Stoner:

“We met the insipid prick.” During the interview, Waxman said Stoner was “ebullent (sp?).” They had Stoner bugged. After they left, they heard Stoner say, “That fucking Jew is driving me crazy.”

On Oliver Patterson’s allegations:

“I really don’t know.”

On Mark Lane’s allegations:

“I question the validity of it.”

On the purpose of exposing Mark Lane’s homosexuality:

“Just to knock them down a little.”

Waxman says he never heard of Sam White.
He said he was vaguely aware that Baetz department was under federal investigation at the time that his partner served on the committee.

Waxman said he trusted Baetz. “I’m fairly good at judging people.” But when asked whether Baetz may have been working for the FBI as well as the HSCA, Waxman said: “Anything is possible.”

Do you feel there should be a trial?
“Let’s test that gun.”

On Ray:
“I don’t think he was operating independently.”

On the assassination:
“We’re going to be talking about this for 40 years.”

On what Byers said about the conspirators’ attitude: “We want to get the big nigger.”

Waxman worked with Baetz and an attorney in a three-member team. He says that the method “insulated us.”

The attorney that worked with them quit because he felt hamstrung.
Bob Lehner, a Manhattan prosecutor now a state attorney in Miami: 305/350-5047 or 46.

Mel Waxman
9501 NW 31st Pl.
Sunrise, FL 33351¯

Monday, April 19, 2004

The Late H. Paul Rico's Congressional Testimony 


Mr. Rico. I have no opening statement. Mr. Burton. We will go directly to questions then. You have heard the statement about the murder which took place which involved the conviction of Mr. Salvati. Were you
aware that he was innocent?

Mr. Rico. I was aware that he was on trial and he was found guilty. That's all I know. I have heard what has transpired and I believe that it's probably, justice has finally been done. I think he was not guilty.

Mr. Burton. Were you aware----
Mr. Rico. I am saying that until I heard the facts, which
is the first time I have heard the facts is today, that I was
not convinced that he was innocent until today. I'm convinced he was innocent.

Mr. Burton. Well, you were one of the FBI agents in the Boston office at the time. Were you not aware of any of the statements or documents that we have been able to uncover during our investigation?

Mr. Rico. I think I caused some of those documents to be written. I think I wrote some of those documents, and when I identified who I knew from an informant who committed this homicide, but as someone has said before, the information is a lot different than testimony.

Mr. Burton. You knew--according to the record, you sent a memo to FBI Director Hoover, as I understand it, saying that you had been informed that Mr. Deegan was going to be hit or murdered?

Mr. Rico. That's probably true, yes. Mr. Burton. And you knew before the fact that was going to occur?

Mr. Rico. We have had several of those things happen in the past. I have been involved in warning some of the people that have been targeted in the past.

Mr. Burton. Did you or anybody in the FBI let Mr. Deegan know that he was going to be hit?

Mr. Rico. It's possible because----

Mr. Burton. Wait a minute. Mr. Rico. I want to say to you that normally when we hear something like that we try to figure out how we can do something to be able to be of assistance, like make an anonymous phone call or call the local police department or something along that line. I don't know what happened in that case. Whether or not someone did notify him or not, I don't know.

Mr. Burton. Did you know Mr. Barboza?
Mr. Rico. I came to know Mr. Barboza.
Mr. Burton. Did you know him prior to the Deegan murder?
Mr. Rico. No.

Mr. Burton. Did Mr. Condon know him prior to the Deegan murder?

Mr. Rico. No, I don't think he did.
Mr. Burton. So he was not working with you and he was not an informant or anything?

Mr. Rico. That's right.
Mr. Burton. How about Mr. Flemmi?
Mr. Rico. At one time I had Steven Flemmi as an informant. He has admitted that before Judge Wolf and all of the contacts were exposed between my contacts with him and those contacts that were written--were introduced before Judge Wolf.

Mr. Burton. Did you know he was a killer?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Burton. Did you not know he was a killer?
Mr. Rico. I knew that he was involved in probably loan sharking and other activities but, no.
Mr. Burton. Well, it's testified here by several witnesses, including the last two, that it was fairly well known on the north side of Boston that he was to be feared and that he was killing people, but you in the FBI didn't know about that?
Mr. Rico. Are we talking about Steven Flemmi or Vincent Flemmi.
Mr. Burton. Vincent Flemmi, Jimmy Flemmi.
Mr. Rico. Oh, Vincent Flemmi. I think when I was in Boston
I would have known that Vincent Flemmi had committed homicide.
Mr. Burton. Did you have any dealings with him?
Mr. Rico. Not really, no.
Mr. Burton. Did Mr. Condon have any dealings with him?
Mr. Rico. I think at one time he might have opened him up
as an informant, I don't know. I don't personally know.
Mr. Burton. But neither you nor Mr. Condon knew anything about his involvement in the Deegan murder prior to the murder?
Mr. Rico. I can only speak for myself, and it's possible that I had information that he might have been involved or going to be involved.

Mr. Burton. Well, there was a memo from you to FBI Director Hoover that was 2 or 3 days prior to the killing that said that you had information that Mr. Deegan was going to be hit or killed?
Mr. Rico. Yeah.
Mr. Burton. Did you not know who was going to be involved in that? You did not know Mr. Barboza or Mr. Flemmi was going to be involved?
Mr. Rico. Is that document before me?
Mr. Burton. Where is that document, Counsel? He would like to look at that real quickly, the document that went to FBI Director Hoover informing him that there was--it's exhibit No. 7, in front there.
[Exhibit 7 follows:]

Mr. Rico. Seven.
Mr. Burton. Yes, sir. It's on the second page, the relevant part. I think it's right at the top, isn't it? ``according''--

Mr. Rico. ``according to''--this reads like it's a microphone, not an informant report.
Mr. Burton. But it was sent by you to the FBI Director. And I guess while----
Mr. Rico. I don't see where, I don't see where I sent this. I can see what it says, but I don't see where I sent it.
Mr. Burton. It's exhibit No. 7. It was from the head of the FBI office there in Boston.
Mr. Rico. Yeah, right.
Mr. Burton. So that would not have been you at that time?
Mr. Rico. No, I have never been the head of the FBI office.
Mr. Burton. Did you know that Mr. Deegan, was it not discussed in the FBI office that Mr. Deegan was going to be killed?
Mr. Rico. I believe it was discussed in a small group, probably the supervisor.
Mr. Burton. So it was discussed?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Burton. I can't understand if it was discussed----
Mr. Rico. It probably was discussed as to who should notify the police or who should try to contact him.
Mr. Burton. If you knew that there was going to be this hit on Mr. Deegan, would you not have discussed who the proposed assassins were going to be? You knew of Barboza and you knew of the others, Mr.----
Mr. Rico. Vincent Flemmi.
Mr. Burton. Vincent Flemmi. You knew of them. Did you not know they were out planning the killing? If you knew and the FBI office up there knew enough to send this memo to the FBI Director, would you not have known who was going to be involved in this?

Mr. Rico. I'm not sure.
Mr. Burton. Let me go to exhibit No. 10 real quickly and I'll yield to my colleagues. OK. Exhibit No. 10. It says, Informant advised that Jimmy Flemmi contacted him and told him that the previous evening Deegan was lured to a finance company in Chelsea and that the door of the finance company had been left open by an employee of the company and that when they got to the door Roy French, who was setting Deegan up, shot Deegan, and Joseph Romeo Martin and Ronnie Casessa came out of
the door and one of them fired into Deegan's body. While Deegan was approaching the doorway, Flemmi and Joe Barboza walked over to a car driven by Tony Stats and they were going to kill Stat but Stats saw them coming and drove off before any shots were fired. Flemmi told informant that Ronnie Casessa and Romeo Martin wanted to prove to Raymond Patriarca that they were capable individuals and that is why they wanted to hit Deegan. Flemmi indicated that what they did was an awful sloppy job.
[Exhibit 10 follows:]

Mr. Rico. All right.
Mr. Burton. That was written by you?
Mr. Rico. Right, right.
Mr. Burton. So you had firsthand knowledge about all of these individuals?
Mr. Rico. I did at that time, right. But I didn't know Barboza at that time. I'm talking about from the standpoint of----
Mr. Burton. Did you have dealings with him after that?
Mr. Rico. Yes. Oh, yes.
Mr. Burton. And you knew that he was involved in this murder?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Burton. And you used him as an informant?
Mr. Rico. No, I never had him as an informant.
Mr. Burton. Who did?
Mr. Rico. I don't think anyone had him as an informant. We had him as a witness. Would you like me to tell you how he became----
Mr. Burton. Yes, while we're looking for exhibit No. 4, and then I'll yield to my colleagues. But go ahead.
[Exhibit 4 follows:]

Mr. Rico. He was arrested and was held on $100,000 bail. And the organized crime people in New England told the bondsmen not to give him the bail money. So they told two of his associates if they can collect the money if they need a little money to finish it off, to come to a nightclub and they would make up the difference so that he could get bailed. When they showed up at the nightclub they waited until closing time, they counted out the money, it was $85,000 of money, money that they had collected. This is allegedly. And they killed Barboza's people that were collecting the money. The bodies were found over in south Boston and eventually--the Boston police went to the nightclub and found a mirror being repaired and they went behind the mirror and found where a shot had gone into the wall. They matched the bullet that had gone through the glass and into the wall and fallen down with the bullet in one of Barboza's associates. So that's why when we went to Barboza he was interested in trying to find a way to help us and probably hurt organized crime. That was his reason for becoming a witness.
Mr. Burton. Because he wanted to hurt organized crime.
Mr. Rico. Well, he felt that that was his money, the $85,000 was his money. I thought he would be more concerne about the two people that were killed. But he was more concerned about the $85,000.

Mr. Burton. It seems incredulous that anybody would think this guy was concerned about getting rid of organized crime when he was a major----

Mr. Rico. No, what he was concerned about----
Mr. Burton. Was his money.
Mr. Rico. Is that he had been told that they were going to make up the difference, the bail money, that he was going to get bailed out.

Mr. Burton. Let me make one more statement. Then I will yield to my colleague. The Justice Task Force search determined that around the time Deegan was murdered Vincent James Flemmi was an FBI informant. According to the file maintained in the FBI, efforts to develop Flemmi as an informant focus on Flemmi's potential as a source began about March 9, 1965. So you folks were working with him well before the murders?

Mr. Rico. I don't recall working with Vincent Flemmi at that time.
Mr. Burton. Do you remember anybody talking about that working with him before the murder? I mean how did they find out there was going to be a hit on Deegan and Flemmi did it and you guys had him as an informant if somebody in the FBI didn't know about it?

Mr. Rico. There's two brothers, Steven Flemmi and Vincent Flemmi.
Mr. Burton. Yes, but Jimmy Flemmi was an informant before this?

Mr. Rico. Well, he wasn't my informant. He wasn't my informant. He might have been Dennis Condon's informant.

Mr. Burton. But the point is you guys did talk; it wasn't that big of an operation that you didn't confide in each other.
Mr. Rico. No, that is true.
Mr. Burton. But you didn't know Jimmy Flemmi was an informant?

Mr. Rico. Because that is a clerical matter whether a guy, you write him down as an informant or you don't write him down as an informant.

Mr. Burton. Mr. Delahunt.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Rico, I am going to direct you to exhibit 6. It's entitled U.S. Government Memorandum and it's to SAC, and then there's a redaction and it's from Special Agent H. Paul Rico. The date is March 15, 1965.
[Exhibit 6 follows:]

Mr. Rico. Yeah, all right.
Mr. Delahunt. Do you see that, Mr. Rico?
Mr. Rico. Yes. And may I inquire a moment maybe of counsel and the Chair, but I can't understand why all of the material from the FBI has substantial redactions. I would again respectfully request the Chair and counsel to inquire of the FBI to determine whether this committee should receive, in my opinion, but could receive the original materials without redactions. It seems earlier in a question posed by Chairman
Burton that there was some confusion on the part of Mr. Rico as to whether he was the author of an error, and this is very important obviously.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. But I am just going to ask you just one
question. I want you to read thoroughly the body of the report.
Mr. Burton. Which exhibit?
Mr. Delahunt. This is for my colleagues exhibit 6. It is a so-called 209, and it is authored by the witness before us and it is to the Special Agent in Charge in Boston whose name was somehow redacted. For what reason I fail to comprehend. The date of the report is March 15, 1965. The date of the contact presumably with the informant is March 10, 1965, 2 days prior to the murder of Mr. Deegan. And I would ask Mr. Rico to read that, take a moment, reflect, because I'm just going to ask him several questions.
Mr. Rico. All right.
Mr. Delahunt. You have read it and you have had an opportunity to digest?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. The question I have for you is, and let me read the first sentence. ``Informant advised that he had just heard from Jimmy Flemmi, that Flemmi told the informant that Raymond Patriarca had put the word out that Edward ``Teddy'' Deegan is going to be hit and that a dry run has already been made and that a close associate of Deegan's has agreed to set him up.'' My question is who is that informant, Mr. Rico?
Mr. Rico. I can't tell.
Mr. Delahunt. You can't tell?
Mr. Rico. I mean, I don't know.
Mr. Delahunt. Well, you authored this report, is that
Mr. Rico. Right, I did.
Mr. Delahunt. I would suggest that this is information that
is significant. Would you agree with that?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. Is it reasonable to conclude that if you
received this information, even albeit back in 1965, that this
is something that would stick with you?
Mr. Rico. I would have known who it was in 1965, I'm sure,
but I don't know who that is right now.
Mr. Delahunt. If I suggested Stevie Flemmi.
Mr. Rico. I don't think Stevie Flemmi would give me his
brother as being----
Mr. Delahunt. You're sure of that, you're under----
Mr. Rico. I'm under oath and I am pretty confident that
Steve would not give me his brother.
Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Chairman, could I request a recess of
some 4 or 5 minutes.
Mr. Burton. Yes, I think that all of the members of the
committee and the guests here can discuss this real quickly.
Can you come up here to the front? We will stand in recess for
about 5 minutes.
Mr. Burton. Mr. Rico, we're now back in session and we want
to make absolutely sure that you understand everything
thoroughly. Do you understand that if you knowingly provide
this committee with false testimony you may be violating
Federal law, including 18 U.S.C. 1001, and do you also
understand that you have a right to have a lawyer present here
with you today?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Burton. You understand all that?
Mr. Rico. Yes, yes.
Mr. Burton. And you prefer to go on answering questions
with your testimony? You're subpoenaed here?
Mr. Rico. I have had advice of counsel and I'm not taking
my counsel's advice. I am going to explain to you whatever you
want to know.
Mr. Burton. Let me make sure I understand. Your counsel has
advised you what?
Mr. Rico. My counsel advised me to take the fifth amendment
until you people agree to give me immunity. I have decided that
I have been in law enforcement for all those years and I'm
interested in answering any and all questions.
Mr. Burton. Very well.
Mr. Meehan. Mr. Rico, have you consulted with your lawyer
in terms of changing your mind and testifying? Have you
consulted with your lawyer?
Mr. Rico. Since this hearing has begun?
Mr. Meehan. Since you decided to testify.
Mr. Rico. I am not going to get my lawyer to change his
mind. His opinion was that I should not testify.
Mr. Burton. And take the fifth?
Mr. Rico. And that I should take the fifth.
Mr. Meehan. But have you consulted with him?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Burton. But you consulted with him prior to that?
Mr. Rico. I used to have Jack Irwin.
Mr. Burton. But you consulted him and he advised you to do
that prior to you coming here today?
Mr. Rico. He advised me to take the fifth.
Mr. Burton. And you have decided to testify?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Burton. Very well.
Mr. Rico. And also I would like to say that in relation to
the question that Mr. Delahunt had asked about whether Flemmi
had provided information on that case, if Steven Flemmi had
provided the information, I think that before Judge Wolf in
Federal Court, Steven Flemmi had admitted that he was an
informant, I took the stand and admitted he was an informant
and we produced every FD 209 that I had during the period of
time I was in contact with Steven Flemmi and I don't think this
was in there. So that's one of the bases for my answering you
that I don't think Steven Flemmi would provide the information
about Jimmy Flemmi.
Mr. Delahunt. But let me just revisit that.
Mr. Rico. All right.
Mr. Burton. Go ahead.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You don't think but
you're not certain?
Mr. Rico. Well, I don't have formal certitude, but I am
pretty sure that this is not Steven Flemmi.
Mr. Delahunt. OK. If you look back on your career, I'm sure
you developed a number of informants----
Mr. Rico. That's right.
Mr. Delahunt [continuing]. That would have information
regarding activities of Mr. Deegan and others?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. You have had some time, maybe 20 minutes,
have you given any more thought to----
Mr. Rico. I don't know who that is. I really can't tell you
right now. I don't know. I really don't know.
Mr. Delahunt. You really can't tell us?
Mr. Rico. No, I don't know.
Mr. Delahunt. Well, when you got the information, which
would have been 2 days before the murder, and again I'm
referring to that one page, Mr. Rico.
Mr. Burton. This is exhibit No. 6.
Mr. Delahunt. This is exhibit No. 6.
Mr. Burton. Excuse me, let me interrupt here, Mr. Delahunt.
Exhibit No. 6, the date on the top is March 16 and the date of
contact is March 10. It's down at the bottom. It says exhibit
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Burton. Go ahead.
Mr. Delahunt. Obviously at that point in time you had
information through this informant whose name you can't
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. That Edward Deegan was going to be hit?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. What did you do with that information at any
time on the 10th.
Mr. Rico. I believe that the supervisor would have had the
person handling Chelsea Police Department disseminate the
Mr. Delahunt. What did you do, Mr. Rico?
Mr. Rico. I would bring it to the attention of my
supervisor and we would discuss how we could handle this
without identifying the informant and provide the----
Mr. Delahunt. Let me go back a bit. You would discuss it.
Did you discuss it with your supervisor?
Mr. Rico. I would think I did, yes.
Mr. Delahunt. Who was the supervisor?
Mr. Rico. I think it was Jack Kehoe.
Mr. Delahunt. Jack Kehoe. Is it the same Mr. Kehoe that
after he left the FBI became the Commissioner of the
Massachusetts State Police.
Mr. Rico. Yes, yes.
Mr. Delahunt. And what was his capacity in the FBI at that
time as your supervisor?
Mr. Rico. That was his capacity. He was my supervisor.
Mr. Delahunt. Was he in charge of the Organized Crime Unit?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. What was the conversation you had with
Supervisor Kehoe relative to this information?
Mr. Rico. It's a long time ago and I don't remember. I
don't remember the conversation in any detail. I just know that
this is the type of information that----
Mr. Delahunt. It was good information, wasn't it, Mr. Rico?
Mr. Rico. I think it was.
Mr. Delahunt. I think it was proven 2 days later that it
was very good information?
Mr. Rico. Yeah, yeah. Unfortunately, right.
Mr. Burton. Excuse me. If I could interrupt. The date of
this memorandum is March 15, after Deegan was killed. But the
date of the contact was March 10. So when you sent this
memorandum it was after the fact, after Mr. Deegan had been
killed. It seems to me that it would really ring a bell if you
had the contact with your informant who in this memo was Jimmy
Flemmi and then 2 days later he is killed and the memo is then
sent on the 15th to your supervisor. It seems like that would
all resonate, one, because you had an informant tell you
someone is going to be killed. They're killed 2 days later and
you're sending the memo 3 days after that and you can't
Mr. Rico. Well, I don't know whether these dates are
accurate or not. I don't know right now whether or not this is
an actual correct reflection of what happened or not.
Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Rico, did you type up this memorandum?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Delahunt. Did you dictate it?
Mr. Rico. I think I did.
Mr. Delahunt. Would that account for the date of March 15
that you dictated it or was that the day that whomever typed it
would have memorialized it as we now see this copy?
Mr. Rico. I can't truthfully answer that. I have no way of
knowing that.
Mr. Delahunt. You don't know?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Burton. Can we come back to you, Mr. Delahunt, and
we'll go to Mr. Barr and come back to you in just a minute?
Mr. Barr.
Mr. Barr. Mr. Rico, the Department of Justice in January
1999 created a joint task force, a Justice Task Force. Are you
aware of that?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Barr. Have you spoken with them?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Barr. Have they attempted to speak with you?
Mr. Rico. I'm not sure whether they have or not. I mean
they may have contacted my attorney. I don't know.
Mr. Barr. Would he be obligated to tell you that?
Mr. Rico. My attorney? I would think so.
Mr. Barr. Has he?
Mr. Rico. I don't recall. I don't recall him specifically
telling me that.
Mr. Barr. Have they sent any letters?
Mr. Rico. No, not that I'm aware of.
Mr. Barr. This fellow Barboza, did you ever meet him?
Mr. Rico. Yes, I did.
Mr. Barr. Did either you or Mr. Condon receive awards or
letters of commendation for your work with him?
Mr. Rico. I don't know, I don't know.
Mr. Barr. You don't know?
Mr. Rico. No. It's possible, it's possible. I don't know.
Mr. Burton. Would the gentleman yield real quickly? Did you
ever receive any gifts or money or anything from Mr. Barboza,
Mr. Flemmi or any of those people?
Mr. Rico. No, no.
Mr. Burton. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. Barr. Did Mr. Condon receive an award or any
commendation or his work on the Deegan case?
Mr. Rico. I don't know.
Mr. Barr. The communications that we have seen here for;
example, exhibit 15, I think 7 and 8, but these are what are
called Airtels between the FBI field offices and headquarters
here in Washington, DC, and some of these, such as 15, indicate
that Mr. Hoover himself was aware of this murder before it
happened and who the suspects and likely perpetrators were
after the fact. Were you also aware of this murder before it
happened and who the apparent perpetrators were almost
immediately following the murder?
[Exhibits 15, 7 and 8 follow:]







Mr. Rico. You say it's exhibit 15?
Mr. Barr. That's one of them.
Mr. Rico. Yeah.
Mr. Barr. No. 7 and No. 8 also.
Mr. Barr. They're the same ones we have looked at earlier
today. Let me just ask you the question.
Mr. Rico. All right.
Mr. Barr. You were aware of the fact that Mr. Deegan was
going to be murdered, correct?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Barr. Did you take any steps to prevent that murder
from occurring?
Mr. Rico. I believe the office did something to try to do
something, whether they had called the local police or whether
they tried to make an anonymous phone call to him, I don't
Mr. Barr. Is there any record of that?
Mr. Rico. I don't know, I don't know. But that's normal
procedure, although we've had procedures where we've gone out
and actually told people that they're going to get hit. I have
done that.
Mr. Barr. But that didn't happen in this case?
Mr. Rico. Not in this case, no.
Mr. Barr. Some of these documents also indicate very
clearly that FBI headquarters was aware of who the perpetrators
of the murders were. Were you aware of that?
Mr. Rico. Aware that headquarters was aware or was I aware
who the perpetrators were?
Mr. Barr. That headquarters was aware of that.
Mr. Rico. If I sent them the information, I suppose they
would be aware of that, yes.
Mr. Burton. Could I followup on that, please? Were you
aware who the murderers were; who were the people who
participated in the hit?
Mr. Rico. After it happened?
Mr. Burton. Yes.
Mr. Rico. Well, I know that we had versions from informants
and then we had the Joe Barboza version.
Mr. Burton. Well, here before us on this March 19, exhibit
15 that we're talking about--can you help him find exhibit 15,
please--it states very clearly to FBI Director Hoover, it
states very clearly that the people who were involved in the
killing are named. And what I can't understand is if this was
known by the FBI office, you and the other people there, then
why was Mr. Salvati tried and convicted and went to jail for 30
years and was convicted and supposed to be electrocuted? Why
didn't somebody at the FBI say in every report that we had
there was evidence that Mr. Salvati had nothing to do with
this? I mean you had all these FBI agents, obviously they knew
all this information. They went to J. Edgar Hoover at the
Bureau's head office and yet this innocent man and some other
people innocent of this crime went to jail for life and some of
them died in prison.
Mr. Rico. Well, informant information is difficult to
handle and it depends on a lot of different circumstances as to
how to handle it. It's very easy if you just take whatever
comes in and you immediately disseminate it.
Mr. Burton. Let me just interrupt to say that Mr. Barboza
was a known killer.
Mr. Rico. Oh, yes, right, he was.
Mr. Burton. He was the only person who testified at the
trial that put these people in jail for life and they were
going to get the death penalty. The FBI had information, you
had information that other people were involved in the killing
and yet that never came out in the trial.
Mr. Rico. That was disseminated to the Chelsea Police
Mr. Burton. Wasn't there an FBI agent that testified there?
Mr. Condon.
Mr. Rico. I didn't testify in the case and witnesses were
sequestered. I never saw Mr. Salvati before today.
Mr. Burton. You didn't know Mr. Salvati was innocent of
that crime because of the information that you had in your
Mr. Rico. We come up with a witness that's going to provide
information to local law enforcement. We turn the witness over
to local law enforcement and let them handle the case. We don't
have any jurisdiction.
Mr. Burton. Was this memo turned over to the local police
along with the informant, Mr. Barboza?
Mr. Rico. I can't tell you that the information was
furnished to----
Mr. Burton. This is exculpatory information. This could
have kept Mr. Salvati out of jail. I think this alone would
have created doubt in the mind of the jury that he would have
gone to jail for 30 years.
Mr. Rico. Do you think we can send people away on informant
information alone?
Mr. Burton. You certainly sent him away on Barboza and he
was a hitman?
Mr. Rico. That's not an informant. That's a witness.
Mr. Burton. He's also a killer who didn't have much
Mr. Rico. I'm not one of his biggest boosters.
Mr. Burton. I'm sorry. I took your time. Did you have more
questions, Mr. Barr?
Mr. Barr. No.
Mr. Burton. Let me go to Mr. Shays. Do you have questions?
I was talking about the gentlelady.
Mrs. Morella. I do, but I will defer to Mr. Shays.
Mr. Shays. This is just the first round. And Mr. Rico, I
have been watching you for the whole day. I have known about
you for 20 years. You are a person who basically worked for the
FBI and then worked, in my judgment, for organized crime when
you worked for World Jai Alai. That is my view of you. My view
of you is that you sent an innocent man to jail.
Mr. Rico. Your what?
Mr. Shays. My view is that you sent an innocent man to jail
and you knew it. I'm just telling you what I believe. You can
tell me anything you believe that you want to. I'll tell you
what I believe. You have been a person on my radar screen for
years. I never thought you would come before this committee.
Now you have been here all day long. You have heard what the
Chelsea police knew. You heard what the Boston police knew, you
heard what the State police knew. You heard what the FBI, and
I'm assuming it was you, but frankly I don't even care, told
Hoover, and I want to know how you think you fit into all of
Mr. Rico. I think we supplied the information that we had
available to the local police department and I think that
should be our way of disseminating the information.
Mr. Shays. Let me ask you this. What does it feel like to
be 76 years old, to have served in the FBI and know that you
were instrumental in sending an innocent man to jail and you
knew it. What is it like? What do you feel? Tell me how do you
feel. I asked what it was like for Mr. Salvati to be in jail. I
asked what it was like for his wife to know her husband was in
jail. I want to know what it's like for you.
Mr. Rico. I have faith in the jury system and I feel that
the jury should be able to decide the innocence.
Mr. Shays. This is what's fascinating.
Mr. Rico. Why? You think you can make a decision as to
who's innocent?
Mr. Shays. What's fascinating to me is that if I were you I
would get down on bended knee in front of this family and ask
for eternal pardon because even if you somehow didn't know
about the report of the local police, of the Boston police, of
the State police, of some documents in the FBI that are
extraordinary since they come from your office, even if you
didn't know that then, you know it now, and you don't seem to
give a shit. Excuse me. You don't seem to care.
Mr. Rico. Is that on the record?
Mr. Shays. You know what? I'm happy to have what I said on
the record. I just hope everything you say is on the record.
Mr. Rico. Sure, sure.
Mr. Shays. Because the one thing is you don't seem to care.
I have been looking at you. You have no remorse about your
involvement even if you think you weren't guilty. Where is your
Mr. Rico. I have been in position where I have taken people
out of jail and to me----
Mr. Shays. You don't care. Tell me how you feel about Mr.
Salvati and his wife. I would like to know.
Mr. Rico. How do I feel about what?
Mr. Shays. You hold on a second. Let me explain why I'm
asking. You can shake your head. You can just wait. I wanted to
know how a retired FBI agent feels about the facts that you
learned today. Let's assume you didn't know anything about it.
Mr. Rico. I didn't.
Mr. Shays. OK.
Mr. Rico. I never----
Mr. Shays. I'll make that assumption for this moment in my
question. I learned about it in the past few weeks. I know what
it does to me. Why doesn't it affect you the same way? Why
wouldn't you feel incredible remorse that you had a role to
play, and you're saying it's ignorance but you had a role to
play in the fact that an innocent man spent 30 years of his
life in jail. Why no remorse?
Mr. Rico. I feel that we have a justice system and however
it plays out it plays out. I don't think we convict everybody
that is guilty and I don't think we let everyone go that is
Mr. Shays. You don't care. Does it bother you that this man
was in jail for 30 years?
Mr. Rico. It would probably be a nice movie or something.
Mr. Shays. So you don't really care about this guy. I'm
getting to learn a lot about you right now. You don't really
care that he was in jail for 30 years. Do you care about his
wife, that she visited him for 30 years?
Mr. Rico. I do not know everything that Joseph Salvati has
done in his lifetime. I do not know that he is completely
innocent of everything. I don't know.
Mr. Shays. What I didn't understand was that I thought that
if you were a law enforcement officer and you had that training
and you carried the badge of an FBI agent, I thought that you
would care about the fact that you could be guilty of something
he feels but if you weren't guilty of that crime then you're
not guilty of that crime. And you're seeming to imply that
somehow maybe there's something else in his past which is
typical of what we heard about this case.
But I'm going to get right back. I'm not going to give up
quite yet. I just still want to understand. Do you have any
remorse that Mr. Salvati spent 30 years of his life in jail?
I can't hear your answer.
Mr. Rico. There isn't an answer.
Mr. Shays. You have no remorse. Do you have any remorse
that his wife spent 30 years visiting him in prison even though
he was innocent of the crime? I want a word. I want something
we can put down on the transcript. I don't want ``nods'' or
something. I want a word from you. Do you have any remorse that
his wife had to visit him for 30 years in jail even though he
was an innocent man and even though he was framed by someone
who testified who was trained by the FBI, was the FBI's
Mr. Rico. Joe Barboza was not trained by the FBI.
Mr. Shays. I'll retract that. I'll get to that in a second.
Do you have any remorse about Marie?
Mr. Rico. Well, I feel sorry that anything like that ever
happened to anybody.
Mr. Shays. So you don't feel sorry for the husband?
Mr. Rico. I feel sorry for anybody that went away----
Mr. Shays. Do you have any remorse?
Mr. Rico. Remorse for what?
Mr. Shays. For the fact that you played a role in this.
Mr. Rico. I believe the role I played was the role I should
have played. I believe that we supplied a witness and we gave
them to the local police and they're supposed to be able to
handle the case from there on. That's it. I cannot----
Mr. Shays. So you don't really care much and you don't
really have any remorse. Is that true?
Mr. Rico. Would you like tears or something?
Mr. Shays. Pardon me?
Mr. Rico. What do you want, tears?
Mr. Shays. No, I want to understand a little more about an
FBI agent who served his country. I just want to know how you
feel. It will teach me something about the FBI. You're going to
be a representative of the FBI. And so there's really no
remorse and no tears; is that correct?
Mr. Rico. I believe the FBI handled it properly.
Mr. Shays. Why don't you tell me why you think they handled
it properly?
Mr. Rico. Because they take whatever information they have
that is pertinent and they furnish it to the local law
enforcement agency that has the jurisdiction and let them
handle it.
Mr. Shays. You just made a claim that I just don't believe
is true. How did you disclose this to all the public--how do we
know and tell me how you disclosed this to the courts and the
public officials?
Mr. Rico. Not me, not me personally.
Mr. Shays. Let me ask you this. The witness on behalf of
the FBI against this individual, you and your partner Mr.
Condon, you were both partly responsible for having this
witness, isn't that true?
Mr. Rico. For what?
Mr. Shays. Pardon me?
Mr. Rico. I'm responsible for what?
Mr. Shays. Aren't you responsible for the witness that
testified against Mr.----
Mr. Rico. We supplied a witness, right.
Mr. Shays. You supplied a witness.
Mr. Rico. We supplied a witness.
Mr. Shays. And that witness didn't tell the truth, did he?
Mr. Rico. Well, it's easy to say now but it wasn't that
easy then.
Mr. Shays. But the witness didn't say the truth, right, the
witness you supplied did not tell the truth; isn't that
correct? That's not a hard question to answer.
Mr. Rico. No, but it's easy to say that now. It's not that
easy to say that when it was happening.
Mr. Shays. But you haven't answered the question. Answer
the question first.
Mr. Rico. What question?
Mr. Shays. The question was simply that you have supplied a
witness who did not tell the truth? Isn't that true.
Mr. Rico. We supplied the witness. And now that everything
is said and done it appears that he didn't tell the whole
Mr. Burton. Mr. Shays, can we come back to you?
Mr. Shays. You sure can. I'm waiting.
Mr. Burton. Mr. Clay, before I yield to you could I ask a
question or two?
Mr. Clay. Yes.
Mr. Burton. The two attorneys we had up here, Mr. Bailey
and Mr. Balliro, they testified that the FBI had taped a great
many phone conversations by reputed members of organized crime
in the Boston and north Boston area. Is that true?
Mr. Rico. I would imagine it would be true. If anyone knows
about organized crime, it would be Joe Balliro.
Mr. Burton. I am asking you, did the FBI tape any phone
calls of organized crime figures up in the northern Boston
Mr. Rico. I was not in the Boston area at that time.
Mr. Burton. You were not?
Mr. Rico. No. I was in Boston in 1970. I left in 1975.
Mr. Burton. Well, I'm talking about back when----
Mr. Rico. You're talking about 1980, when they were
involved in----
Mr. Burton. I'm talking about back during the time that
these crimes took place, when Mr. Deegan was killed, when Mr.
Barboza was killing these people, when Mr. Flemmi was killing
people. Were there any wiretaps that the FBI was conducting? Do
you know of any wiretaps that were conducted?
Mr. Rico. You're talking about legal wiretaps?
Mr. Burton. Legal wiretaps. You don't know?
Mr. Rico. You're asking the wrong agent.
Mr. Burton. Do you know if there were any wiretaps by the
agency out of that office? Do you know of any wiretaps out of
that office by the FBI.
Mr. Rico. During which period of time? When I was there?
Mr. Burton. No, during the time when Flemmi and Barboza
were there and Deegan was killed, do you ever remember any
Mr. Rico. I don't know whether we had a wiretap at that
time. I don't know. I have no idea. I wasn't involved in the
Mr. Burton. You don't know if there were any wiretaps out
of that office for organized crime up in that area? J. Edgar
Hoover, nobody ever authorized wiretaps in that area? We'll
find out if anybody authorized wiretaps.
Mr. Rico. I'm not trying to tell you if there wasn't any. I
just don't know myself personally the timing of wiretaps.
Mr. Burton. But you don't know if there were any wiretaps
out of that office? Do you know if there were any? You don't
have to be involved. Do you know if there were any?
Mr. Rico. I can't remember the timing. This is 35 years
ago. I can't remember whether they had the wiretaps in 1963 or
1964 or when.
Mr. Burton. This isn't the Stone Age we're talking about.
They did have wiretaps back then.
And you don't recall the FBI ever using a wiretap to try to
nab organize crime figures?
Mr. Rico. The FBI used some wiretaps for intelligence
information during the period of time that I was in the Boston
Mr. Burton. OK. Was it being done on any individuals out of
the Boston office?
Mr. Rico. I would think that it's the timing. I cannot
understand the timing. I cannot comprehend----
Mr. Burton. Well----
Mr. Rico [continuing]. The timing of why it----
Mr. Burton. Well, I think you do comprehend.
Mr. Rico. Well.
Mr. Burton. And it was pretty well known, according to
legal counsel we had and others, that wiretaps were taking
place, because they were trying to nab organized crime figures,
and Barboza and Flemmi were two of the biggest contract killers
in that place, and yet you guys had him as a witness to put
innocent people in jail, and you're saying you didn't know
anything about it. You thought that Barboza was a legitimate
witness at that time.
Mr. Rico. I'm not a big supporter of Joe Barboza, and I've
never been a big supporter of Joe Barboza, but he was the
instrument that we had. He was a stone killer, and he was put
in a position where he decided he wanted to testify. So we let
him testify.
Mr. Burton. Mr. Clay.
Mr. Clay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Rico, what an
incredulous story. This is truly amazing just sitting here
listening to some of the details and facts. Just to followup on
Mr. Shays' questioning, first, did you know beforehand that
Teddy Deegan had been targeted to be killed?
Mr. Rico. Evidently, I did.
Mr. Clay. Evidently?
Mr. Rico. From the informant.
Mr. Clay. You did know. And did you know also that Mr.
Salvati was not involved in the murder itself?
Mr. Rico. I had never heard of Salvati being involved in
this case, and so----
Mr. Clay. That he----
Mr. Rico. Until he was indicted, right. I never heard of
Mr. Clay. You had never heard of him?
Mr. Rico. I had never----
Mr. Clay. But you also knew that he did not play a role in
the murder; correct?
Mr. Rico. I can't say that.
Mr. Clay. You cannot say that. Is this standard operating
procedure for the FBI to withhold evidence from a court of law,
to know that someone is going to trial and is going to face
criminal incarceration and to withhold that evidence? Is that
standard operating procedure?
Mr. Rico. Standard operating procedure is to take whatever
information you have and supply it to the local police that
have the authority in whatever manner is coming up.
Mr. Clay. But think about the circumstances of Mr. Salvati
going to trial, facing, I assume, murder charges and being
convicted, and all the while, the local FBI office, you in
particular, knowing that this man did not commit that crime. I
mean, did that ever cross your mind that maybe we should
intercede to ensure that justice prevails?
Mr. Rico. There is a time when you're involved in a case
and you know what's happening, but there are many cases, many
things happening, and I would say that thinking of Salvati on a
day-to-day basis probably did not happen.
Mr. Clay. Well, I'm going to stop there, Mr. Chairman, and
if I can, can I yield the remainder of my time to Mr. Delahunt?
Is that permissible?
Mr. Barr [presiding]. The gentleman from Massachusetts.
Mr. Delahunt. We thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let's talk about
bugs for a minute, Mr. Rico.
Mr. Rico. Sure.
Mr. Delahunt. And let's use a timeframe of 1960 to 1970.
Mr. Rico. OK. That's when I was there.
Mr. Delahunt. Right. Are you familiar with a bug that was
placed in the office of Raymond Patriarca, Jr.?
Mr. Rico. Absolutely not. I was familiar with a bug placed
in Raymond Ellis Patriarca, Sr.
Mr. Delahunt. Senior. I thank you for correcting me.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. Did you have anything to do with placing that
bug there?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Delahunt. No. Do you know who did?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Delahunt. You don't know. But you knew that there was a
Mr. Rico. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I knew that.
Mr. Delahunt. Was that particular bug authorized by a court
Mr. Rico. I can't tell you that. I don't know. I don't know
whether it was a court order or not. I can tell you when it was
Mr. Delahunt. When was it removed?
Mr. Rico. Oh, God. A new attorney general came in, and they
removed them all across the country. I don't remember who it
was right now.
Mr. Delahunt. So a new attorney general could very well
have made the decision that it was a black-bag job, it was an
illegal wiretap?
Mr. Rico. I think that the new attorney general wanted
nothing to do with these bugs.
Mr. Delahunt. These bugs. I'd request counsel to--if he
could, to supply us with what available documents the FBI has
regarding the Raymond Patriarca, Sr. bug and who was
responsible for planting this bug within that office.
You know, in terms of the--you're right, and I think
there's some misunderstanding relative to terms that we're
using here today. Barboza was not an informant----
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Delahunt [continuing]. For you?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Delahunt. But Barboza was--I think your words were, you
supplied the witness, and the witness was Joseph Barboza.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. Now----
Mr. Barr. Excuse me. The time of the gentleman from
Massachusetts has expired. We'll come back to Mr. Delahunt in
just a few minutes. The chair recognizes the gentlelady from
Maryland for 5 minutes.
Mrs. Morella. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Rico, I've been looking at some of the evidence that
has been put together in some of the booklets that we have, and
I was noting that on exhibit 10, there is a memorandum from
you, which describes the Deegan murder and identifies the
killers. Were you satisfied that the informant provided
accurate information to you? I'll give you a chance to look at
that, sir. 65.
Mr. Chairman, don't count that on my time.
[Exhibit 10 follows:]



Mr. Rico. Yes. Yes. I consider that accurate.
Mrs. Morella. You do.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mrs. Morella. You do not? You do consider that accurate?
Mr. Rico. I consider--it seems to be accurate information.
Mrs. Morella. Do you believe that the informant correctly
identified Deegan's killers?
Mr. Rico. The problem with being absolutely certain on the
informant information is that the informant may be telling you
exactly what he learned. You see, the informant advised that
Jimmy Flemmi contacted him and told him, when you get into
Jimmy Flemmi telling something to an informant, you're now a
step away from having the certitude that you would have if the
informant learned this from somebody else. Jimmy Flemmi, I
would say, would not be that reliable an individual and has a
propensity to put himself involved in crimes.
Mrs. Morella. But because of the information that you had
received since October 1964 regarding Vincent Flemmi wanting to
kill Deegan, was there any doubt in your mind that Flemmi was
involved in Deegan's death?
Mr. Rico. I'm sorry. I don't understand.
Mrs. Morella. I just wondered was there any doubt in your
mind that Flemmi was involved in Deegan's death because of the
information you received after October 1964? I mean, did you
have any doubt----
Mr. Rico. It seemed logical to be involved, yeah.
Mrs. Morella. OK. Right. So you really didn't have any
doubts that Flemmi was involved.
Mr. Rico. Well, I always had some doubts when Flemmi was
involved in anything.
Mrs. Morella. Remote. Few doubts. Did you have information
at this time that Joe Salvati was involved in Deegan's murder?
Mr. Rico. I never received any information that Salvati was
involved in the Deegan murder.
Mrs. Morella. Did you or anyone else in the FBI office
question any of the individuals that were identified as
participants in Deegan's murder?
Mr. Rico. I'm sorry. I'm not getting it.
Mrs. Morella. Now, did you or anyone else in the FBI office
question any of the individuals that were identified as
participants in Deegan's murder?
Mr. Rico. Let me see.
Mrs. Morella. Did you question any of the individuals that
were identified as participants?
Mr. Rico. Only Joe Barboza.
Mrs. Morella. Page 2 of the memorandum you wrote, you wrote
that this information was passed to Captain Robert Renfrew of
the Chelsea Police Department.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mrs. Morella. Did you did pass this information to Captain
Mr. Rico. No, Don Shannon did that.
Mrs. Morella. So he did that. Was Captain Renfrew given any
additional information that was not included in this exhibit
Mr. Rico. Was he given any additional information?
Mrs. Morella. Right, additional information that was not
Mr. Rico. I don't know. I don't know whether he was or not,
because if Shannon gave it to him, he might have given him
other information----
Mrs. Morella. The FBI office in Boston has recently claimed
that your statement proves that the FBI shared this information
with local law enforcement. Do you agree with this statement?
Mr. Rico. Yes. I think that pretty well covers it.
Mrs. Morella. Exhibit 11 is a Chelsea police report about
the Deegan murder. On Page 3, the report identifies seven men
who left the Ebb Tide Restaurant around 9 p.m. on the night of
the murder and returned around 11 p.m. One of those identified,
Romeo Martin, allegedly said to Roy French, ``we nailed him.''
The report said, this information came from Captain Renfrew,
who was also supposed to have received the information from the
FBI. Have you seen that report before?
Mr. Rico. I haven't seen the report before, and I wouldn't
know if he is still in the Chelsea Police Department or not.
Mrs. Morella. So did you mention anything about the Ebb
Tide to Captain Renfrew?
Mr. Rico. I'm aware of the Ebb Tide. We used to--it was
there when I was around, but I don't--can't tell you about
Renfrew and the Ebb Tide.
Mrs. Morella. Did you talk to Captain Renfrew that Francis
Imbuglia, Nicky Femia or Freddy were with the others the night
of the murder?
Mr. Rico. I have seen Captain Renfrew on a number of
occasions, but I don't recall having any discussion about this
case with him.
Mrs. Morella. I wanted to kind of set up that list of
questions, and I'll get back to you, Mr. Rico, but I do want to
say from having been here at the beginning, that I wish we
could give back 30 years of life to a happily married couple,
and my heart goes out to them----
Mr. Rico. Sure.
Mrs. Morella [continuing]. For--they represent the old
school virtues that I think I grew up with, too: that you make
the best with what you've got and always remember family. Thank
you. I yield back.
Mr. Barr. The gentleman from Massachusetts is recognized
for 5 minutes.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I asked you earlier
about the fact that you stated that Barboza was not your
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. But that you did cultivate him as a witness?
Mr. Rico. Actually, that's true. We----
Mr. Delahunt. That's fine----
Mr. Rico. Comes from a period of time where he wants to be
an informant. We don't want him as an informant. We want him as
a witness.
Mr. Delahunt. Right. I understand that, and you were
successful in convincing him to be a witness?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. What induced him to become a witness?
Mr. Rico. The fact that they banged out two of his partners
and stole $85,000. They had collected for his bail. He stopped
by the Night Light for them to make up the difference, and they
counted it out and killed them.
Mr. Delahunt. And that was the exclusive motive for his
cooperation with law enforcement?
Mr. Rico. Well, I thought he was going to be angry because
they killed his two friends, but----
Mr. Delahunt. But it was the money?
Mr. Rico. But he was angry, because it was his money----
Mr. Delahunt. It had nothing to do with the fact that he
seemed to escape prosecution for a variety of crimes?
Mr. Rico. Well, he wasn't really being held on a very
serious crime, because it was--the bail was $100,000, but I
don't think----
Mr. Delahunt. Did he do----
Mr. Rico. I don't remember what the crime was.
Mr. Delahunt. But given his record, in fact, he--let me
suggest this.
Mr. Rico. Yeah.
Mr. Delahunt. That at one point in time, the Suffolk County
district attorney's office brought--before filed a charge,
charging him with being a habitual offender.
Mr. Rico. Could have been, yeah.
Mr. Delahunt. Now, you know and I know, Mr. Rico, that that
carries with it a substantial penalty.
Mr. Rico. Sure.
Mr. Delahunt. Did you ever have any conversations with Joe
Barboza, relative to recommending that he not be prosecuted, or
at least he serve no time for crimes that he had been charged
Mr. Rico. On that matter, Gary Byrne, as you know, is the
district attorney of Suffolk County at that time.
Mr. Delahunt. Uh-huh.
Mr. Rico. Told me that I could tell him that whatever
cooperation he gives will be brought to the attention of the
proper authorities.
Mr. Delahunt. Right.
Mr. Rico. He says you can't tell him anything more or
anything less. That's exactly what you can tell him, and that's
what I told him.
Mr. Delahunt. And that's what you told him?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. Was Dennis Condon with you?
Mr. Rico. I am sure he was.
Mr. Delahunt. Because the practices of the FBI is such that
there are always two agents working together.
Mr. Rico. Hopefully right.
Mr. Delahunt. In terms of interviewing witnesses.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. Well, you did supply the witness to the
appropriate authorities?
Mr. Rico. I didn't----
Mr. Delahunt. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Suffolk
County district attorney's office?
Mr. Rico. Right. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. Did you supply the report that you and I
discussed earlier that you filed as a result of a contact on
March 10th? Did you provide that report to the appropriate
Mr. Rico. I think we did. I think we notified Chelsea. I
think that was the appropriate authority at that time.
Mr. Delahunt. Well, let me go back to a question that I
posed to Mr. Balliro earlier. While the Suffolk County district
attorney's office was prosecuting the case, given the very high
profile of that case, it was a headliner back in the mid
1960's, because it obviously had charged a number of
individuals alleged to be major organized crime figures. You
played, and Dennis Condon played, and State police played, and
Chelsea Police played, and Boston Police played an active role
in the investigation at preparation for trial?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Delahunt. No?
Mr. Rico. We were not involved in the--to my knowledge, in
the preparation of the trial or in the investigation. I had
never been to the scene of the homicide. I had never----
Mr. Delahunt. When you say we, do you mean yourself and
Dennis--Mr. Condon?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. Are you aware that Mr. Condon testified at
the trial?
Mr. Rico. Oh, yes. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. And you're telling me and members of this
committee that he wasn't involved in the preparation and the
trial of the case? Why don't you take a moment and refresh your
Mr. Rico. Well, it depends on what you're talking about
preparation. I think that we made Barboza available at a time
when they came to interview him, we would be there, but it
wasn't as if we're directing the investigation----
Mr. Delahunt. But you heard----
Mr. Rico. It's a----
Mr. Delahunt. I----
Mr. Rico. And we're trying to be cooperative with him.
Mr. Delahunt. I understand it's their investigation, but
let's be very candid. The FBI and the director of the FBI, Mr.
Hoover, had a major interest in organized crime in New England?
Mr. Rico. Eventually, he did. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. And the people that were indicted, with the
exception of Mr. Salvati, were alleged to be major organized
crime figures. Is that a fair statement?
Mr. Rico. They were organized crime figures.
Mr. Delahunt. They were organized crime?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. And you mean to tell myself and members of
this committee that you followed this case from a distance, and
you really weren't intimately involved in one of the cases that
the Director of the FBI had prioritized?
Mr. Delahunt. And, Mr. Rico, you were a well-known agent.
You were decorated. You spent your career with organized crime
figures, developing information.
Mr. Rico. In a different way than Bear did, right.
Mr. Delahunt. Well, I'm going to ask that that statement be
struck from the record and expunged, because the Bear isn't
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. I'm asking you the questions----
Mr. Rico. Right. OK.
Mr. Delahunt [continuing]. Mr. Rico, OK?
Mr. Rico. I am not----
Mr. Barr. Excuse me, Mr. Rico. Statements can't just be
Mr. Rico. What's that?
Mr. Barr. I'm saying that statements just can't be struck
from the record. Just because somebody isn't here who's name is
mentioned. Your time is expired, and we'll now turn to the
gentleman from Ohio. Mr. LaTourette is recognized for 5
Mr. LaTourette. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Rico, I want
to pick up where my friend from Massachusetts left off, and
that is, not only did--and Mr. Condon--Special Agent Condon
testify, but also Special Agent Bolin testified at the trial of
these defendants. Are you aware of that?
Mr. Rico. What trial?
Mr. LaTourette. The trial that brings us all together here,
the Salvati trial, the trial involving the murder of Deegan.
Did you know a Special Agent Bolin?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. LaTourette. Apparently----
Mr. Rico. I think I do.
Mr. LaTourette. Apparently he's credited with discrediting
the alibi of one of the co-defendants in the case, and that
letter, I think, after everyone is convicted on July 31st, a
report goes up to headquarters, recommending commendations for
you, Special Agent Condon, and Special Agent Bolin. Does any of
that ring a bell to you?
Mr. Rico. Well, I can remember Special Agent Bolin now, but
I didn't know what degree he was involved in the case.
Mr. LaTourette. OK. There came a time when you and Special
Agent Condon went up to--is it Walpole prison?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. LaTourette. To interview Mr. Barboza?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. LaTourette. And that was before the trial of Mr.
Salvati and the defendants in the Teddy Deegan murder, was it
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. LaTourette. And during the course of that interview,
you wrote a report back to your superiors, and in that report,
you indicated that Mr. Barboza, as kind of a valuable witness,
or could be, because he knows anything on any murder that's
occurred in the minority east but he makes clear to you and
your partner during the course of that interview that he's not
going to give up Jimmy Vincent Flemmi. Do you remember that?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. LaTourette. OK. And the question I have to you is,
then, that at the time that Mr. Salvati and his co-defendants
go to trial, you have, as a result of your investigation, the
information that you have received--and if not you personally,
I assume that you just didn't gather information as a special
agent and keep it to yourself. There would be dialog in Boston
office, wouldn't there? You and Mr. Condon certainly talked,
did you not, Special Agent Condon?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. LaTourette. OK. At the time these fellows went to
trial, you had received confidential information from an
informant that James Vincent Flemmi wanted to kill Deegan.
Isn't that correct? Or said that he wanted to kill him. Right?
Mr. Rico. Yes. Yes.
Mr. LaTourette. OK. You also had information that Vincent
Flemmi--or the claim was that Vincent Flemmi did, in fact,
participate in the killing of Teddy Deegan.
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. LaTourette. You also had information in your position
or the office did that Joe Barboza participated in the homicide
of Teddy Deegan?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. LaTourette. Prior to the trial. And then you also had
information from this interview at Walpole Prison that Barboza
would never give up Jimmy Flemmi.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. LaTourette. OK. Given all that information--and I
understand what you said that you handed it over to the local
police and the prosecuting agencies and so on and so forth, but
going back to Mr. Delahunt's question, or maybe it was Mr.
Barr, certainly the FBI office in Boston is not just a casual
observer of this--you know, it's not--while it's interesting
that there's a trial going on and we'll get back to you, it was
so interesting that the minute it's over on July 31st, a report
goes to headquarters saying that all are convicted.
Given all of those things that were within your knowledge,
I mean, did you have any qualms back in 1968 about putting Joe
Barboza or knowing that Joe Barboza was going to be the sole
and only testimony against Joe Salvati, and potentially put him
on death row? Did that cause you any--I'm not talking today.
I'm talking back in 1968.
Mr. Rico. I was not aware of all of the ramifications of
the case itself.
Mr. LaTourette. Maybe not, but you were aware of all of the
things I went through--the five or six things I just went
through with you.
Mr. Rico. Right. Right.
Mr. LaTourette. And none of that caused you any concern or
qualm about the witness that you supplied--not you personally,
but your office, and you were the handler, that this was the
only testimony against not only the other court defendants but
Mr. Salvati, who we now know had nothing to do with it?
Mr. Rico. Uh-huh.
Mr. LaTourette. That he could go on death row on the basis
of this testimony? As an experienced law enforcement officer,
isn't that shaky, even by confidential informant standards?
Mr. Rico. Well, there isn't any good answer to that.
Mr. LaTourette. I don't think there is a good answer to
that, because I think that the answer is that it was real
shaky. The last thing I want to ask you is that I think I saw
you sitting here during the course of the hearing today, and
you're pretty much aware of the theory of this hearing, if you
will, or the observations that people are making, and that is
that the FBI office in Boston, MA was willing to sacrifice 33
years of a man's life, separate him for 33 years from his wife
and his children, to protect a guy nicknamed ``the Animal,'' a
cold-blooded killer, so that the mob could be penetrated and
brought down. And I just would like to have your observation as
to the accuracy of that theory.
Mr. Rico. I don't think that the FBI was interested in
saving Joe Barboza from anything. Joe Barboza was an instrument
that you could use. If he was involved in a crime and it was
something that could be prosecuted, that was fine, but there
was no--we didn't think he was a knight in shining armor.
Mr. LaTourette. I know you don't but----
Mr. Rico. We did not think he should have been in the
foreign service or anything. We just tried to use him----
Mr. LaTourette. Right.
Mr. Rico [continuing]. For obtaining information and
evidence of crimes.
Mr. LaTourette. If Mr. Barr would just let me complete this
thought. But when you say ``weren't interested in protecting
him from anything,'' the testimony before the panel is that the
Witness Protection Program in the U.S. Government was
established and begun for Mr. Barboza.
Mr. Rico. Well, the--also I'd like to clear up that Santa
Rosa situation. We did go out there and testify that he had
been a witness. That's all we testified to.
Mr. LaTourette. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Barr.
Mr. Barr. The gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Shays, is
recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. Shays. I don't understand a lot of things, Mr. Rico. I
don't understand your lack of remorse. It just seems cold. It's
kind of what I think in other people, not an FBI agent. But
with Mr. Salvati, because of your star witness, your prized
witness, he was found guilty of a crime he didn't commit, and
you ended up deciding to go to California, you and Mr. Rico and
Mr. Harrington and Mr. Condon. Why did all three of you go to
Mr. Rico. We were subpoenaed.
Mr. Shays. You all three were?
Mr. Rico. We were subpoenaed and the Attorney General of
the United States authorized us to testify.
Mr. Shays. OK.
Mr. Rico. And that's what----
Mr. Shays. What was your testimony? Are you under oath
telling us that you just went to say he was a witness, or were
you here to say he was a good witness? Did you characterize him
in any way at that hearing?
Mr. Rico. I think we indicated that he had been a witness
in three separate trials back in Massachusetts, one of which
everyone was found not guilty.
Mr. Shays. Right. And isn't it true that besides saying
that he was a witness, you were also saying that he was a
reliable witness?
Mr. Rico. No. No, no.
Mr. Shays. So you didn't, in any way in California,
characterize the quality of his testimony?
Mr. Rico. My memory is that we just testified that he was a
witness on three different cases back in Massachusetts.
Mr. Shays. Tell me what you thought of him as a witness.
Mr. Rico. As a witness?
Mr. Shays. Yeah.
Mr. Rico. Well, the case that we're interested in here, I
was not----
Mr. Shays. Just in general. Just in general, tell me what
you thought of Mr. Barboza as a witness.
Mr. Rico. I thought that he was convincing, that he was
there at the scene of a crime. If he was a participant in the
Mr. Shays. What would have convinced you that he would have
told the truth? I mean, he was a notorious contract killer.
That you knew. Correct? You knew he was a contract killer?
Mr. Rico. He testified to that.
Mr. Shays. And you knew that he was a--see, the thing is
even though he--if he testifies to that, I don't know if you're
willing to acknowledge he knew it. You knew he was a contract
Mr. Rico. I don't know if I knew he was a contract killer
before he testified. I knew he was a killer, but I knew he was
a contract killer till after he testified.
Mr. Shays. Did you have any doubts that he was a contract
Mr. Rico. Not after he testified, no. Convincing----
Mr. Shays. And what you're saying to us is that when you
all--didn't you have conversations with Mr. Barboza before he
Mr. Rico. Sure. Yes.
Mr. Shays. Of course. Of course you did.
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Shays. And you're not a naive FBI agent. That's the one
thing I'll give you credit for.
Mr. Rico. I'm not a what?
Mr. Shays. You're not a naive FBI agent. You're a pretty
wily guy and you knew a lot of stuff, so I'll give you credit
for that and so did Mr. Condon. So in the course of your
conversation, you were testifying to us that in all your
conversations with Mr. Barboza, you did not know that he was a
contract killer until he testified under oath?
Mr. Rico. Well, no. When he told us the contract that he
was asked to execute for Raymond Patriarca, that's when I
became aware.
Mr. Shays. So you knew before he testified that he was a
contract killer?
Mr. Rico. Yes. Right.
Mr. Shays. But before you said you didn't know until he
testified. And so I just want to see which story----
Mr. Rico. It was until----
Mr. Shays. No. Which story----
Mr. Rico. Came up.
Mr. Shays. I didn't say when the subject came up. I didn't
do that. You're starting to say things that I didn't say. I
asked you a question.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Shays. Of whether you knew he was a contract killer,
and under oath. You said you didn't know until he testified.
And now you're saying something different. Now you're saying
you knew before, and the reason you're saying you knew
something before is because I happened to ask you the question,
and it conflicts with what you said earlier. The fact is, you
had many conversations with this gentleman; correct?
Mr. Rico. I had some conversation with him. Yeah. Right.
Mr. Shays. More than two or three?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Shays. He was a witness that you turned against
organized crime and be supportive of going after organized
crime. He was one of the witnesses you turned. He was a crook,
and now he was going after crooks. Isn't that true?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Shays. OK. And the FBI took some pride in the fact that
they had this witness who was now--we had successfully turned
to go after organized crime, and the fact is, Mr. Rico, you
knew he was a contract killer before he testified. Isn't that
Mr. Rico. From interviewing him, I knew, yes.
Mr. Shays. Yes. OK. Well, it's just good to have you say
that. So I should believe that testimony, not the part when you
answered the question and said you didn't know until after he
testified. So OK.
Mr. Rico. After he agreed to testify?
Mr. Shays. Pardon me?
Mr. Rico. After he agreed to testify. After he agreed
that--to testify, then----
Mr. Shays. So now you're----
Mr. Rico. The debriefing him comes out----
Mr. Shays. So you knew he was a contract killer, and you
knew this contract killer was--had testified against Mr.
Salvati; correct? You knew he testified and five other
individuals. Isn't that correct?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Shays. OK. So you knew he had testified--you knew this
contract killer was testifying against these six witnesses.
What made you think he was telling the truth?
Mr. Rico. Because I think the--I thought that the fear of
Mr. Shays. Excuse me. You need to get close to the mic.
Mr. Rico. I would think that the fear of perjury would
prevent him from lying.
Mr. Shays. Why would you think the fear of perjury would
prevent him from lying?
Mr. Rico. I don't know. I had to think something. So that's
what I thought.
Mr. Shays. No. I think that's an honest answer. I think
your character is coming through. You think you had to say
something. So in fact you really couldn't be certain he was
telling the truth?
Mr. Rico. No. I don't think I could be certain that he's
ever telling the truth.
Mr. Shays. Right. OK. But he was a witness, and you and Mr.
Condon were involved in turning this witness around; correct?
Turning him against the mob, whereas before he worked for the
Mr. Rico. I don't think it was us as--that turned him. I
think the fact that they killed his associates and took his
Mr. Shays. Right, but you----
Mr. Rico. Turned. But I happened to be there when----
Mr. Shays. Were you the FBI agents that basically were
responsible for convincing Mr. Barboza that he would be better
off testifying against organized crime?
Mr. Rico. All we're trying to convince a lot of people
that, yes, and he was one of them.
Mr. Shays. I know that and he was one of them and you
succeeded with him and failed with others. Isn't that true?
Mr. Rico. Well, we succeeded with some others too.
Mr. Shays. OK you succeeded with some others too. In the
end, the answer to the question--the answer to the question is,
yes, you succeeded----
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Shays [continuing]. In turning him around? OK. What
made you feel comfortable that the testimony that he gave
against these six individuals was accurate, given the fact that
you had information that it was people other than these six? Or
at least four of them weren't guilty. Given the fact you knew
of information that never brought Mr. Salvati into this case
and three others, what made you think that he was telling the
Mr. Rico. I had no way of knowing he wasn't telling the
truth, except informant information.
Mr. Shays. No. No, but----
Mr. Rico. And informant information, I don't know whether
that's true.
Mr. Shays. So--but you acknowledge that you had informant
information, not Mr. Barboza, but informant information that
conflicted with what Mr. Barboza said on the trial----
Mr. Rico. I can tell you--I'm under oath and can tell you
that I have known some informants that have supplied
information that hasn't been true.
Mr. Shays. I understand that. I understand, but that's not
what I asked. So you answered something you wanted to answer,
but you didn't answer the question.
Mr. Rico. What's the question?
Mr. Shays. The question was that you had information from
informants that conflicted with the testimony of Mr. Barboza?
Mr. Rico. Right. Right.
Mr. Shays. Why did you decide to go along with Mr. Barboza
and not with the testimony from--excuse me, the information you
had from your informants?
Mr. Rico. I was not handling the case. This was a local
case that was being handled by the local authorities.
Mr. Shays. You're not testifying under oath, are you, Mr.
Rico, that you had no conversations with Mr. Barboza about this
case? So your testimony, you had no discussion with Mr. Barboza
about this case?
Mr. Rico. About this case?
Mr. Shays. Yes.
Mr. Rico. I had conversations in the past about this case.
Mr. Shays. October. You had many conversations.
Mr. Rico. Right?
Mr. Shays. Isn't that true? So when you say you weren't
involved in this case, you had conversations with Mr. Barboza
about the case informing Mr. Salvati and five other witnesses.
You had conversations. So you can't say you weren't involved in
the case. How can you say that? This is your witness. So tell
me how you can make that claim?
Mr. Rico. Because we indicate to the Boston Police
Department that we have this witness, and they come and
interview him.
Mr. Shays. No. But you also told me something more. You
told me something more. You told me that you had a witness that
had spoken to you about this case. Correct?
Mr. Rico. I have a witness that spoke----
Mr. Shays. Mr. Barboza talked to you about this case?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Shays. Yes? Correct? And then you supplied this witness
to the local authorities and the State authorities. Isn't that
Mr. Rico. We----
Mr. Shays. I want an answer to my question.
Mr. Rico. I didn't hear the whole question.
Mr. Shays. Well, I'll say it again.
Mr. Rico. All right. Say it again.
Mr. Shays. You spoke with Mr. Barboza about this case
involving Mr. Salvati and five other witnesses. You had a
number of conversations with Mr. Barboza about this case.
You've already said that's correct. And I am asking you the
question now, isn't it true that you then contacted local
authorities and State authorities and said you had a witness
who had information about this case?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Shays. OK. What I want to know is why were you willing
to supply only that part of the information and not the part to
the State and local authorities about the informants you had?
Mr. Rico. I'm not sure we didn't say something about that
also. We might have said something about that.
Mr. Shays. You might have said it. Is that your testimony
that you did?
Mr. Rico. What?
Mr. Shays. Is your testimony that you did notify them about
the informants who had a different story than the witness?
You've got an informant and you've got a witness. What----
Mr. Rico. I have no--I actually have no clear recollection
of telling the local authorities of that informant
Mr. Shays. Why not? Why didn't you tell them about what the
informant said that conflicted with what your witness said?
Mr. Burton [presiding]. Would the gentleman yield? Well,
the thing is, he has, as you know, selective memory loss.
Mr. Shays. But----
Mr. Burton. But he's continuing to say that, you know, he
doesn't remember, that he can't remember----
Mr. Shays. No. But what he did say under oath is very
clear. He said that he had information about what the informant
said and he had information about what the witness said. He had
both two different stories, and I want to know why you decided
to give the local police, the State police information that
your witness had and not provide information about what the
informant had that you knew of. It conflicted----
Mr. Rico. Because the informant told me that 2 years--2-1/2
years before, this witness arrives on the scene.
Mr. Shays. So what?
Mr. Rico. So----
Mr. Shays. So I would believe their story more. You've
already told me that your witness is a notorious criminal. You
acknowledge the fact that he killed people. You acknowledged
the fact that he was a hit person. He, in fact, even told you
that. You told me that you couldn't be sure he--no. Hold on.
You already told me you couldn't be sure he would tell the
truth, and yet you decided to only supply some information to
the authorities that were going to prosecute. And then you give
this incredible lame comment that the informants told you 2
years earlier. To me, that's even more important. They told you
2 years earlier. Why didn't you give them that information 2
years earlier?
Mr. Rico. 2 years earlier we supplied that information to
the Chelsea Police Department. They had jurisdiction over this
Mr. Shays. Well, the bottom line is, you have no remorse.
You didn't provide information you should have. I think you
should be prosecuted. I think you should be sent to jail.
That's what I think. I'd like to ask a few more questions, if I
might. I'll be happy to take my time.
Mr. Burton. OK. You said a minute ago that you did supply
this information to the Chelsea Police Department----
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Burton [continuing]. About the informant as well as the
witness. Right?
Mr. Rico. Yes. It was supplied by Don Shannon to Robert
Mr. Burton. So you're saying that the Chelsea Police had
information that would have created doubt in a jury's mind
about whether or not Mr. Salvati was guilty? I mean, if they
had that information from the informant as well as the witness,
obviously there would have been some conflicts there, and it
would have created doubt. Why is it--can you explain to me and
to the committee why is it that the Chelsea Police didn't use
that in the trial? Why it wasn't brought up in the trial?
Mr. Rico. I don't know.
Mr. Burton. Well, your partner, who was your partner, he
was your partner. As I understand it, you two worked very
closely together. Your partner testified as to the veracity of
what Mr.--of what Barboza said at the trial. He testified that
he thought he was a credible witness. Now, you were his
partner. You had to know that the informant said something else
and Mr. Condon had to know that as well. So why in the world
didn't they say that at the trial? Why didn't Mr. Condon, as an
FBI agent--he's your partner. Come on. Don't tell me you didn't
know--you didn't talk about this stuff. You had dinner together
and everything else. Why didn't he just say, look, here's what
Mr. Barboza is saying, but we have information contrary to that
from an informant? This exculpatory evidence, why in the heck
wasn't that brought up? Why did Mr. Condon not say that at the
Mr. Rico. I don't know. I don't know if Mr. Condon said
that at the trial or not. I don't know. I wasn't there at the
Mr. Burton. And you guys never talked about that? You
weren't partners? I mean, you weren't together a lot?
Mr. Rico. I don't know what he said at the trial, but I
have a transcript here, if I can find it. Do you think he
Mr. Burton. He did testify.
Mr. Rico [continuing]. That this is a credible witness?
Mr. Burton. He testified at the trial and----
Mr. Rico. He testified he was a credible witness? What page
is that on?
Mr. Burton. Well, we'll get the exact language for you,
Mr. Rico. Yeah. If you would. Sure. I appreciate that.
Mr. Burton. We'll get that for you. We'll come back to
Mr. Rico. I know you wouldn't want to mislead me.
Mr. Burton. No. I wouldn't mislead you. We'll come back to
that. Who's next? Mr. Delahunt, do you have any questions?
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Going back to the
conversation you had with Jack Kehoe, is Jack Kehoe still
Mr. Rico. The last I knew, he was. That's fairly recently.
Mr. Delahunt. OK. I would suggest that the committee, Mr.
Chairman, should interview Mr. Kehoe, relative to the
conversation he had with Mr. Rico.
Would it be fair to say that you would have disclosed the
name of that informant to Mr. Kehoe?
Mr. Rico. It would be fair to say that Jack Kehoe would
know the identity of the informant.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you.
Mr. Rico. Without my disclosing it to him, because of this
stuff that's blocked out here. He would recognize who it was.
Mr. Delahunt. So Jack Kehoe would. Would it be fair to
infer, given the fact that you and Mr. Condon were partners--
and, by the way, how long did you and Mr. Condon work together
as partners?
Mr. Rico. Oh, probably 8 years to 10 years.
Mr. Delahunt. And you were close?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. And you still are?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. You're close personal friends?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. Is it a fair inference that Mr. Condon, if he
read the report that was authored by you, would know the name
of that informant?
Mr. Rico. I don't think so. I mean, I don't know the name.
I can't tell you who it is. I don't know who it is. Right now I
can't remember who that would be. I have----
Mr. Delahunt. As we were discussing earlier in terms of
your role in cultivating in Barboza as a witness and discussing
the Deegan murder, did you supply any information from any
source about the murder?
Mr. Rico. Absolutely not.
Mr. Delahunt. Not at all? Before he was to testify, did
either you or Mr. Condon, working with the assistant district
attorney in charge of the case or with local law enforcement,
review his testimony?
Mr. Rico. I don't recall doing that, and I don't know
whether Dennis did. I don't think so.
Mr. Delahunt. So your memory is that you never
Mr. Rico. I can't recall--I can't recall that.
Mr. Delahunt. Now, one of the problems that I have, Mr.
Rico, is that when you develop a witness and as you said, you
supply a witness, particularly a high profile thug like Joe
Barboza, the key to having him as an effective witness is to
establish his credibility. Is that a fair statement?
Mr. Rico. It sounds good.
Mr. Delahunt. I mean, use an agent, myself as a former
prosecutor, particularly when you're dealing with somebody like
a Barboza----
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt [continuing]. Your biggest concern is, he's
going to be impeached. They're going to get him on the stand
and they're going to supply documents as to his convictions,
review bad acts. You know the drill and I know the drill.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. See, what I find difficult is to vet his
credibility, is to establish his credibility, when you're the
author, you, Paul Rico, are the author of a report that
implicates neither Salvati nor Greco nor Limone nor Tameleo,
why wouldn't you, because he's your witness, you cultivated
him, you flipped him, why wouldn't you and Dennis, working with
Jack Kehoe, because he was considered an FBI witness, and he
ended up being responsible for the genesis of the Federal
Witness Protection Program, why wouldn't you conduct an
exhaustive and an intensive investigation to evaluate and
assess his credibility?
Why wouldn't you go and have interviewed all of the players
that were around in that point in time, determine whether
Barboza was lying or telling the truth?
Mr. Rico. It's because in our interviews with him, we were
discussing who might have done different crimes, mostly he had
swayed a lot of hits in the Boston area, as you remember. And
he was on the money on--from the standpoint of--from----
Mr. Delahunt. Let me----
Mr. Rico. What we knew and what he knew.
Mr. Delahunt. He was responsible or the prime witness who
testified in three different cases?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. Earlier you indicated on one case that
everyone was found not guilty.
Mr. Rico. His----
Mr. Delahunt. Correct?
Mr. Rico. His first case.
Mr. Delahunt. Everyone found not guilty?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. And on this case, he managed to put four
innocent people in jail. How did he do on the third case, Mr.
Mr. Rico. Well, the first case was handled----
Mr. Delahunt. I'm asking about the third case.
Mr. Rico. Well, I just----
Mr. Delahunt. Did he ever----
Mr. Rico. This is the third case. This is the third case.
Mr. Delahunt. Well, I'm not asking you to go
chronologically. The second--please, because----
Mr. Rico. He went State, Federal and State.
Mr. Delahunt. Right.
Mr. Rico. He got a not guilty on everything in State court.
Mr. Delahunt. OK.
Mr. Rico. Guilty in Federal court, and then this was the
third case.
Mr. Delahunt. OK. He got a guilty--and the third case, of
course, is--what we know now is a horrible injustice?
Mr. Rico. Right. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. And on the Federal case, what happened then?
Mr. Rico. Guilty.
Mr. Delahunt. Guilty. And what were the sentences that were
meted out?
Mr. Rico. Small.
Mr. Delahunt. So in all this----
Mr. Rico. What?
Mr. Delahunt. With all the effort, the resources----
Mr. Rico. Yeah.
Mr. Delahunt [continuing]. And the time devoted to
cultivating this witness.
Mr. Rico. Uh-huh.
Mr. Delahunt [continuing]. We get a couple of soft
sentences in the Federal court. That's it. But you still
haven't answered the question that I posed to you earlier. You
had to know that guys like Bear and others that were there were
going to attack his credibility, and if you supplied the
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt [continuing]. But you didn't supply the report
that would have devastated his credibility, that's the problem.
Mr. Rico. Yeah.
Mr. Delahunt [continuing]. Isn't it, Mr. Rico?
Mr. Rico. That's probably true.
Mr. Delahunt. It's probably true.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Burton. Then why didn't you supply it?
Mr. Rico. What?
Mr. Burton. Why didn't you supply the report?
Mr. Rico. Why didn't I supply it?
Mr. Burton. Yeah. Why wasn't the report supplied? I mean,
you just admitted to Mr. Delahunt that if it had been supplied,
it would have changed the whole outcome. Why wasn't it
supplied? You guys had it. Why did you choose to keep that?
Mr. Rico. I assume that they must have had it. They must
have had it. We had given it to Chelsea. Chelsea is the
original crime scene----
Mr. Burton. But you guys were involved in the case when you
gave the information to the Chelsea Police. You knew what was
going on. It was in the newspapers. You had to know. Why would
you not make sure that kind of evidence was given to them? And
your partner testified at the trial. We're getting that
evidence right now--that information right now. But he
testified you guys knew all this stuff and you didn't give it
to him.
Mr. Rico. Has he given me the--what do you say that he
Mr. Burton. We'll get that.
Mr. Rico. OK.
Mr. Burton. We'll have that. Mrs. Morella.
Mrs. Morella. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Back to that police
report that was discussed. There's a report that we have, from
the Boston Police Department on the Deegan murder. Did the FBI
share any information on the Deegan murder with the Boston
Police Department? I guess I could also expand that, too, and
add, did you see any of the police reports from either the
Boston Police Department or the Chelsea Police Department
during the time of the Deegan murder?
Mr. Rico. I cannot tell you right now.
Mrs. Morella. Uh-huh.
Mr. Rico. Up.
Mrs. Morella. There's a report--city of Boston report on
exhibit 12.
[Exhibit 12 follows:]



Mr. Rico. Exhibit 12.
Mrs. Morella. Roy French was questioned by the Chelsea
Police the day after the murder. Besides French, do you know if
any of the other individuals identified, either in your report
or the Chelsea report, who were questioned about the Deegan
murder? For instance, was Vincent Flemmi questioned?
Mr. Rico. I don't know. I have no knowledge of that.
Mrs. Morella. You don't remember, or you just don't know
whether any of them were questioned?
Mr. Rico. I don't know whether--other people were
questioned at that time.
Mrs. Morella. Was Vincent Flemmi ever questioned by anybody
about the Deegan murder?
Mr. Rico. I don't know. I didn't question him.
Mrs. Morella. You don't know. Around the time of the Deegan
murder, what evidence had you developed, either on your own or
from other law enforcement agencies, regarding Joe Salvati's
role in the Deegan----
Mr. Rico. I never received any mention that was derogatory
on Joe Salvati ever.
Mrs. Morella. You never have?
Mr. Rico. I have no information on Joe Salvati. I don't
think I ever heard the name before.
Mrs. Morella. You know, I understand that FBI Director
Louis Freeh has issued a statement saying that there is a task
force that is ongoing that is looking at this issue. It's
called a Justice Task Force. It's now been in operation since,
I think, early 1999.
Mr. Rico. Uh-huh.
Mrs. Morella. Mr. Rico, have they ever questioned you?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mrs. Morella. They have not questioned you at all about
Mr. Rico. No.
Mrs. Morella. Have you received any communication from them
about it?
Mr. Rico. What?
Mrs. Morella. Have you gotten any communication?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mrs. Morella. From the FBI that they're interested at all?
Don't you think----
Mr. Rico. I appeared before Judge Wolf in Federal court
about a year and a half ago, and I think that's part of the
whole system.
Mrs. Morella. Were you asked about the Deegan----
Mr. Rico. No. At that time I was asked about Flemmi, Steve
Flemmi, not----
Mrs. Morella. Not Vince?
Mr. Rico. Not Vincent.
Mrs. Morella. Very interesting. I would guess you would
expect that we'd be asking you some questions.
Mr. Rico. Fine.
Mrs. Morella. Maybe as a result of this hearing.
Mr. Rico. Sure.
Mrs. Morella. I think we certainly think they should. Well,
Mr. Chairman, I'm going to yield back to you the remainder of
my time.
Mr. Barr [presiding]. I thank the gentlelady. Mr. Shays,
we'll conclude with 5 minutes from you.
Mr. Shays. I may just go slightly over, but I'll try to be
as punctual as possible. Mr. Rico, when did you join the FBI?
Mr. Rico. What?
Mr. Shays. When did you join the FBI?
Mr. Rico. I think it was 1951, beginning of 1951.
Mr. Shays. And when did you retire?
Mr. Rico. 1975.
Mr. Shays. And when you--during that time that you were in
the FBI, how long were you in the New England area?
Mr. Rico. I was there from the early 1950's to 1970.
Mr. Shays. Is that unusual for someone to be in one place
basically for most of their time?
Mr. Rico. Not really, no. Well, it could be.
Mr. Shays. So the bottom line is you spent a good--maybe
almost 20 years of your experience in the New England area?
Mr. Rico. That's right. That's right.
Mr. Shays. What did you do after you retired?
Mr. Rico. I went to work for World Jai Alai.
Mr. Shays. Did you know at the time that there were
concerns that World Jai Alai was--well, let me ask you this.
Who hired you?
Mr. Rico. I was hired by a head hunting group. Well, I was
interviewed by a head hunting group, and eventually was hired
by John Callahan.
Mr. Shays. Right. Now, did you have any information that
John Callahan was involved in organized crime?
Mr. Rico. Not till late in--not till later.
Mr. Shays. Later. Explain later.
Mr. Rico. Later was later, several years later.
Mr. Shays. 2 years later, 1 year later.
Mr. Rico. It was shortly before he left the company.
Mr. Shays. And so how long was that after he had hired you?
Mr. Rico. After he hired me?
Mr. Shays. Yeah.
Mr. Rico. 3 or 4 years probably.
Mr. Shays. Why wouldn't you have known that he was involved
in organized crime?
Mr. Rico. Why wouldn't I know?
Mr. Shays. Yeah, you work for FBI.
Mr. Rico. Because there was nothing in the files of the FBI
indicating that John Callahan was in any way connected with
organized crime.
Mr. Shays. So we have a retired FBI agent who is hired to
work at World Jai Alai and hired by an organized crime figure.
Did any of your colleagues question the advisability of you
working for an organized crime figure?
Mr. Rico. I don't think anyone knew he was an organized
crime figure until later.
Mr. Shays. The State officials knew.
Mr. Rico. What?
Mr. Shays. The State officials knew in Connecticut. They
were rather surprised that you would choose to work for someone
involved in organized crime.
Mr. Rico. The reason he left was because he was seen with
organized crime people. And I reported it to the board of
directors, and he was asked to resign.
Mr. Shays. You weren't the one who reported it.
Mr. Rico. I wasn't?
Mr. Shays. You were the one who discovered he was involved
with organized crime? Your testimony before this committee is
that no one knew in the organization that he was involved in
organized crime until you told them?
Mr. Rico. No one in my company knew that until I told them.
Mr. Shays. That is your testimony under oath?
Mr. Rico. No one in my company knew.
Mr. Shays. What is the company----
Mr. Rico. Huh?
Mr. Shays. Tell me the company.
Mr. Rico. World Jai Alai.
Mr. Shays. Your testimony under oath is that nobody in
World Jai Alai knew that he was involved in organized crime?
Mr. Rico. That I knew of, yeah.
Mr. Shays. Who is Roger Wheeler?
Mr. Rico. He is the person who eventually bought World Jai
Mr. Shays. And you worked for Roger Wheeler?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Shays. What happened to Roger Wheeler?
Mr. Rico. Roger Wheeler was a homicide victim.
Mr. Shays. Who committed that crime? Who killed him?
Mr. Rico. I believe they have a witness that said he did
it. I think his name is James Martorano.
Mr. Shays. John Vincent Martorano?
Mr. Rico. Martorano.
Mr. Shays. Have you ever heard of the individual?
Mr. Rico. Yes. He was with Callahan. It was like a St.
Patrick's Day night. He was at the Playboy with John Callahan
and two other people, Martorano was.
Mr. Shays. He was killed in a club, wasn't he, in Tulsa?
Mr. Rico. What?
Mr. Shays. He was killed in Arizona?
Mr. Rico. Oklahoma.
Mr. Shays. Oklahoma.
Let me just ask you another line of questions. In 1988 the
Supreme Court of Rhode Island found that FBI Special Agent H.
Paul Rico, you, suborned the perjury of John Kelley, the
State's principal witness in the 1970 murder trial of Maurice
Lerner. Apparently at your instigation, Mr. Rico, Kelley
altered two facts directly dealing with the murder and the
extent of the promises that you made in exchange for Kelley's
testimony. When asked why he perjured himself, Kelley said my
life was in the FBI's hands, and this is in brackets, Special
Agent Rico, end of brackets, said I had no alternative.
Mr. Rico, why did you suborn the perjury of the State's
main witness John Kelley in the gangland killing of Anthony
Mr. Rico. Anthony who?
Mr. Shays. Anthony Melei.
Mr. Rico. I don't know who that is.
Mr. Shays. Isn't it true that you were found, the Supreme
Court of Rhode Island found you to have perjured--suborned the
perjury of John Kelley? Weren't you cited in 1988?
Mr. Rico. I'm unaware of that.
Mr. Shays. You're unaware of any perjury, any order, any
decision--I want you to be real careful about this because you
did have a conversation with one of our staff. So I want you to
think this through for a second. I just read you something that
was pretty clear. I want you to tell me what your answer is to
Do you know who Maurice Lerner is?
Mr. Rico. Yes, oh yeah, Maurice Lerner.
Mr. Shays. Do you know who John Kelley is?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Shays. You know who those two people are?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Shays. Who are they?
Mr. Rico. John J. Kelley is an individual that's been
involved in different forms of crime over a long period of
time, including numerous bank robberies and armored car
robberies on a national basis.
Mr. Shays. Right. And you have had contact with them,
haven't you?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Shays. And you had a circumstance where you spoke to
him about the testimony he gave before the Supreme Court in
Rhode Island--I mean, excuse me, before the court in Rhode
Island, not the Supreme Court.
Mr. Rico. I had a conversation with John over that?
Mr. Shays. John Kelley.
Mr. Rico. I'm not trying to be evasive. I think that John
J. Kelley----
Mr. Shays. John. If it's John J. Kelley, I know it's John
Mr. Rico. It's the person that was tried in the Plymouth
mail robbery. He became a government witness.
Mr. Shays. Could you put the mic a little closer to you,
Mr. Rico. He was a principal in the Plymouth mail robbery,
was tried and F. Lee Bailey represented him and he was found
not guilty. He later became involved in another robbery of a
Brinks truck and he was awaiting trial on that matter when he
decided that he would become a government witness. And he
became a government witness. And once his testimony was over
and his sentencing was over he decided to change his testimony.
Mr. Shays. He perjured himself, and he claims that you were
the reason he perjured.
Mr. Rico. That's right. That's what he claimed. That's
Mr. Shays. You just seem----
Mr. Rico. Because I thought you were saying that I had been
found guilty of perjury. I wasn't involved in being convicted.
He alleged it, that I did this?
Mr. Shays. Right. And weren't you cited by the Supreme
Mr. Rico. I don't know if I was. I don't think so.
Mr. Shays. What was the claim that he made? How had he
perjured himself?
Mr. Rico. You ask him, Maurice Lerner. Maurice Lerner had a
shooting gallery in his basement and he was, according to Jack
Kelley, this guy was a very competent killer and Jack was very
afraid of him and I think that after Jack Kelley got his legal
problems squared away that he decided he would help Lerner and
he changed his testimony and said that he had only testified
the other way because I had insisted on it.
Mr. Shays. I am going to ask you two questions. Mr. Rico,
why did you suborn the perjury of the State's main witness John
Kelley in the gangland killing of Anthony Melei.
Mr. Rico. Why did I do that?
Mr. Shays. Yes.
Mr. Rico. I did not suborn perjury.
Mr. Shays. Did you also perjure yourself in that case by
corroborating Kelley's false statements concerning promises you
made to Kelley in exchange for his testimony?
Mr. Rico. I have always been able to say to everybody that
was a witness or a potential witness the same thing, that we
will bring whatever cooperation you bring to the attention of
the proper authorities. There's nothing else that I have ever
said concerning eliciting testimony.
Mr. Shays. Two points. Isn't it true that Mr. Kelley
perjured himself?
Mr. Rico. I don't know that.
Mr. Shays. You don't know if Mr. Kelley perjured?
Mr. Rico. If he changed his testimony from the first time
and changed it to something else the second time, he obviously
was wrong in one of those instances.
Mr. Shays. Isn't it true that he claims you were the reason
that he had given false testimony the first time?
Mr. Rico. That's probably true. That's probably what he
Mr. Shays. No, not probably. Isn't it true?
Mr. Rico. It's probably true.
Mr. Shays. Don't use the word ``probably.'' Isn't it true
that he said that you encouraged him to perjure himself and
give false testimony?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Shays. Well, you know I realize that he may be an
unsavory character but why shouldn't I believe him more than
you were willing to believe your star witness Joseph Barboza
and send someone to jail for 30 years? Why should you be
incredulous about my question?
Mr. Rico. No, no, no. He would be very interesting if you
would talk to him.
Mr. Shays. This has been a fascinating day for me, Mr.
Rico. I think the thing I'm most surprised about is that it's
clear to me that the FBI became as corrupt as the people they
went after and it's clear to me that you have the same
insensitivity that I would imagine in someone who is a hard and
fast criminal. No remorse whatsoever. Cold as can be. The fact
that a man spent 30 years in jail, no big deal. No tears. No
regret, and yet you were responsible for that man being in jail
for 30 years. You have gotten just like the people you went
after. What a legacy.
Mr. Barr. The Chair recognizes the counsel, Mr. Wilson.
Mr. Wilson. Mr. Rico, there are a number of questions that
need to be answered but there's one that sticks out in my mind
right now and it's this. We've learned that on many occasions
you talked to Joe Barboza. He was a witness that you were
handling, went into the Witness Protection Program. You worked
with him after he was in the Witness Protection Program. When
you asked him the question where was Vincent Flemmi on March
12, 1965, what did he tell you?
Mr. Rico. I don't think we ever asked him that question. We
never asked him that question.
Mr. Wilson. The only reason I ask that is because it's the
only question that you could not have failed to ask. It's
inconceivable that you wouldn't ask that question. I'll tell
you why it's inconceivable to me. In 1964 you learned that
Vincent Flemmi wanted to kill Teddy Deegan. That was on October
19, 1964, you knew that Vincent Flemmi wanted to kill Teddy
Deegan. On March 10 you learned from the informant that Deegan
was going to be murdered. On March 13, 1965 you learned from an
informant that Vincent Flemmi told people that the Deegan
murder was committed by Joseph Barboza and himself. So in 1964
you knew Teddy Deegan was going to be killed and Vincent Flemmi
wanted to kill him or at least you learned that Vincent Flemmi
wanted to kill him. The following year you learned that Flemmi
had said that he had killed him. A little bit later in April,
April 5, 1965, you had your first reported contact with Vincent
Flemmi trying to get information from him. We're told by the
task force head that on April 15 you opened an informant file
on Vincent Flemmi. You started working with Vincent Flemmi's
brother in 1965 to obtain informant information. And then you
finally start working with Barboza, with all this knowledge in
the background of what Vincent Flemmi wanted to do with Teddy
Deegan, and you had the perfect opportunity to ask Barboza
where was Vincent Flemmi. I mean that's the only question that
you would think you would want answered. You knew you testified
that Vincent Flemmi was a killer, right?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Wilson. And here's the possibility that there's a
murder to be solved and you have got information that Vincent
Flemmi might be involved in the murder. Did you purposefully
want to leave him on the streets?
Mr. Rico. No, no, no. I arrested Vincent Flemmi.
Mr. Wilson. Well, you had an opportunity to followup and at
least ask the question of your principal witness about Vincent
Flemmi. Where was Vincent Flemmi on the day that Teddy Deegan
was killed? That's to me the one question that you would have
had to ask him.
Mr. Rico. Yeah.
Mr. Wilson. And you didn't ask him that?
Mr. Rico. I don't remember asking him that, no.
Mr. Wilson. Now the most important document I think in this
whole series of documents we have is exhibit No. 24 in our book
and if you would turn to that, take a moment to look at it,
please. It's a two-page document. We talked about it in a
previous panel. It was prepared by yourself and your partner,
Dennis Condon. It's dated March 8, 1967. Apparently it's
information that was obtained at Walpole, which is a prison in
Massachusetts. And on the second page----
[Exhibit 24 follows:]



Mr. Rico. I don't find it.
Mr. Wilson. Do you have exhibit 24?
Mr. Rico. I have 25, OK. Coming up. 24. OK. This has to be
Mr. Wilson. It's a two-page document. It's a write-up of
your interview and Mr. Condon's interview with Joe Barboza, and
on the second page the FBI has redacted most of the information
on the second page so we don't know what's there, but it does
say, the one bit of text that's left on the page, Baron, now
Baron was Barboza's other name, ``Baron knows what has happened
in practically every murder that has been committed in this
area. He said that he would never provide information that
would allow James Vincent Flemmi to fry but that he will
consider furnishing information on these murders.''
Now, given the fact that you had all the information about
Vincent Flemmi wanting to kill Teddy Deegan and then after the
fact having killed Teddy Deegan, given the fact that you had
that information and given that Joe Barboza told you that he
wasn't going to give you any information about Vincent Flemmi,
did you have any concern that Barboza was going to protect
Vincent Flemmi in the trial for the Deegan murder?
Mr. Rico. I probably had concern over it at that time.
Mr. Wilson. What did you do, what concrete steps did you do
to express your concern.
Mr. Rico. Well, I think I indicated to John Doyle the
possibility that this guy would not provide information on
Jimmy Flemmi because he's his friend and I think that should be
borne in mind when you interview this guy.
Mr. Wilson. But now he's your witness. You're the one
taking the interviews here. Why didn't you ask him the question
for your own peace of mind? This was a death penalty case. You
apparently were his handler.
Mr. Rico. Well, he'd already said that he will not tell us,
Mr. Wilson. Pardon.
Mr. Rico. He already said that he would not give us
anything that would be harmful to Jimmy Flemmi.
Mr. Wilson. So that was it; you wouldn't even followup and
say I need to know, I need to know to move forward? Tell me
what happened. Well, let me just ask you a couple of other
related questions because a trial took place, and in hindsight,
obviously hindsight is helpful but there was this extraordinary
testimony about a guy wearing a wig to make him look bald. Did
you know that Vincent Flemmi was bald?
Mr. Rico. Yes, yes.
Mr. Wilson. OK. What did you think about the testimony at
Mr. Rico. I didn't hear that testimony until today. That's
the only time I ever heard that testimony was today.
Mr. Wilson. It seems to us that it had to have been as far-
fetched in 1967 and 1968.
Mr. Rico. I don't remember it happening at that time, you
Mr. Wilson. Your partner testified at the trial, Barboza
was your witness. Weren't you following what he was saying.
That would have ramifications for Federal trials. You were
going to put the guy on the stand in other trials. Didn't you
need to know what he was saying in that trial?
Mr. Rico. No, that was the last trial.
Mr. Wilson. But he's still in the Witness Protection
Program. Is that it? There was no possibility that he would
ever be able to give up information again?
Mr. Rico. I think that was it. I didn't think he was going
to give us information that we could use on anything else. He
was cut loose.
Mr. Wilson. Did you ever debrief Barboza again? Did you
ever talk to him about any other matter after?
Mr. Rico. Yeah, I did. I talked to him in Santa Rosa and he
told me that somebody from Massachusetts had visited him, and I
told him that person was really not a friend of his and he
should be careful. And when he got out of jail he visited that
person and when he walked out the front door he got hit with a
shotgun. That was the end of Barboza.
Mr. Wilson. And that was in 1976, correct?
Mr. Rico. I don't remember the year. I just know that's
what happened.
Mr. Wilson. Right. Now, one of the other things that's of
some concern to us, and we'll just try to make sure we
understand this fully, Vincent Flemmi was being used as an
informant in 1965, correct?
Mr. Rico. I don't think I used him at all.
Mr. Wilson. I remember you said that before in answer to
one of the Congressman's question. I think you said that you
didn't know that Vincent Flemmi was an informant at all.
Mr. Rico. I don't think I had him as an informant. I had--
Mr. Wilson. The question is did you know he was an
informant for the FBI?
Mr. Rico. Well, somebody could have opened him as an
Mr. Wilson. But the question is did you know he was an
informant for the FBI ever prior to today?
Mr. Rico. We're talking about somebody that most of the
informants you have to certify their emotional stability and it
would be difficult to certify James's emotional stability. So I
don't know whether or not someone decided to open him. I don't
think I did.
Mr. Shays. Could the gentleman yield for a second? I don't
understand. You have to certify?
Mr. Rico. You want to make sure that whoever you have is
emotionally stable. Not a nut.
Mr. Shays. You also want to make sure they tell the truth,
too, right?
Mr. Rico. You want to make sure whether you can determine
that they tell the truth.
Mr. Shays. I want to make sure I understand this. You care
about a witness to make sure he's emotionally credible but you
don't care about the other things that a witness might say?
Mr. Rico. Yes, of course you do.
Mr. Shays. Well, you didn't seem to--well, thank you.
Mr. Wilson. Well, I'm just a little concerned that we
didn't get a clear answer to the question.
Mr. Rico. Well, do you have Vincent Flemmi as my informant?
Mr. Wilson. I don't, but that's not my question. My
question is did you know that Vincent Flemmi was being used as
an informant by anybody in the FBI?
Mr. Rico. At the present time I don't know whether he was
being used as an informant. I doubt that he was being used as
an informant.
Mr. Wilson. Did you know that anybody was considering using
him as an informant?
Mr. Rico. If you work in organized crime the Bureau expects
you to come up with sources and informants, so it's very
possible that somebody could consider him. I don't know that.
Mr. Wilson. Well, that is the answer. You're saying you did
not know that?
Mr. Rico. I can't recall that. OK.
Mr. Wilson. You did know, I believe you testified that
Steven Flemmi was being considered as an informant.
Mr. Rico. I had him.
Mr. Wilson. Now one of the problems that we face here is
when you interviewed Barboza and he said he wasn't going to
give you any information that would--and I'm paraphrasing--but
would lead his brother, would lead Vincent Flemmi to fry, at
that time you have got knowledge that you've been using Steven
Flemmi as an informant. It seems to me there is a terrible
conflict there. If you had asked Barboza probing questions
about Vincent Flemmi, which seems to me a fairly logical thing
to have done, you would have put yourself into trouble with
your informant Steve Flemmi. Did that ever occur to you?
Mr. Rico. That is a possibility.
Mr. Wilson. Well----
Mr. Rico. It wouldn't have prevented us from asking. We try
not to be married to informants.
Mr. Wilson. But to try to put it as simply as possible, one
of our concerns is that in order to keep your relationship with
Steven Flemmi you're turning a blind eye to what Vincent Flemmi
is doing.
Mr. Rico. No, no. I mentioned before I ended up arresting
him, including with my partner Dennis.
Mr. Wilson. But not for the Deegan murder?
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Wilson. And you didn't ask any questions about Vincent
Flemmi's possible participation in the Deegan murder, none at
Mr. Rico. Well, I think John, I think John Doyle was pretty
much aware that Vincent Flemmi and Joseph Barboza were very
close. And I think that was brought out in conversations
between us, John Doyle, myself, Dennis, yeah.
Mr. Wilson. I guess this is a very important question that
we've not asked yet. But in 1965, given that you knew there was
a bald guy allegedly in the Deegan murder and that Barboza did
commit the murder, did you suspect that that person was Vincent
Flemmi? I'm asking whether you suspected that.
Mr. Rico. I can't answer that now. I can't answer that at
the present time. I can't think of what I thought back then.
Mr. Wilson. Did----
Mr. Rico. Vincent was capable of doing anything though.
Mr. Wilson. Given what we now know, it's obvious to us but
it would have been obvious to you in 1965 and 1966 and 1967.
You told us you ultimately arrested Vincent Flemmi. But what
you had in 1964 is information that Vincent Flemmi was going to
kill Teddy Deegan and then you had informant information in
fact that Vincent Flemmi was going to kill Teddy Deegan. In
fact, you sent memos to the Director of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, your ultimate boss, that Vincent Flemmi is going
to kill Teddy Deegan and then there is a bald guy that ends up
helping to kill Teddy Deegan and you told us you don't know
about the testimony but you just don't remember. That's your
testimony, that you just don't remember?
Mr. Rico. That's right, I don't remember.
Mr. Wilson. What your suspicion was?
Mr. Rico. And I don't think I sent a communication. Oh,
yes, I did. OK.
Mr. Wilson. There are a number of memoranda----
Mr. Rico. I see it.
Mr. Wilson [continuing]. That you authored here. Some went
to the Director.
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Wilson. Did you have any verbal conversations, any
conversations with the Director of the FBI about the Deegan
Mr. Rico. No.
Mr. Wilson. Did you know the Director of the FBI?
Mr. Rico. I only knew who he was. I didn't know him.
Mr. Wilson. If you could give us a little sense of
memoranda that were being prepared. Did you prepare more than
one memorandum a week for the Director of the FBI?
Mr. Rico. I don't think so. I don't think so. I don't even
think it was, I don't recall it being my responsibility.
Mr. Wilson. From our perspective, looking at the documents
we've been provided, it doesn't appear to be something that you
did frequently. Is that fair to say?
Mr. Rico. Right, I would think it would be fair to say.
Mr. Wilson. I think you have had a chance to look a little
bit through the binder here. Do you know of any other memoranda
that you prepared that discussed Vincent Flemmi, and let me put
that in context, Vincent Flemmi in the Deegan case?
Mr. Rico. I would like to take a break.
Mr. Wilson. OK.
Mr. Rico. Which way is the nearest men's room?
Mr. Barr. We'll stand in recess for 5 minutes.
Mr. Barr. I think Mr. Wilson has finished his questions.
Mr. Delahunt, you had one other area of inquiry that you wanted
to go into before we conclude?
Mr. Delahunt. Yes.
Mr. Barr. The gentleman from Massachusetts is recognized
for 5 minutes.
Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Rico, you never inquired of or ever made
any recommendation to the Massachusetts Parole Board on any
matter relating to a commutation for either Mr. Salvati or
anyone else who was convicted as a result in the Deegan murder
case; is that correct?
Mr. Rico. That is correct.
Mr. Delahunt. You indicated that Steve Flemmi was your
informant and you ran him as an informant until you left the
Mr. Rico. I don't know the date. No, I think--no, I think
that I ran him until he was indicted on--I think he was
indicted on the bombing of John Fitzgerald's car, and I closed
him then.
Mr. Delahunt. Let me ask you this. You closed him then but
you introduced him to John Connolly, is that correct?
Mr. Rico. That is not correct.
Mr. Delahunt. That is not correct?
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. Did you participate in any way in
encouraging, either directly or indirectly through Dennis
Condon, Steven Flemmi to cooperate again with the FBI?
Mr. Rico. I think Dennis was the ultimate agent on with
Stevie Flemmi. And I think when Stevie Flemmi was no longer
under indictment I think Dennis may have handled him for a
period of time.
Mr. Delahunt. OK. You're familiar that Frank Salemme--
you're familiar with Frank Salemme?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. You know Frank Salemme was arrested in New
York City?
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. By John Connolly.
Mr. Rico. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. Are you aware of the details of how Mr.
Connolly developed that information?
Mr. Rico. I believe that Dennis Condon sent a photograph of
Frankie Salemme to New York City through John Connolly because
he thought he was there and that the New York agents weren't
paying much attention to it.
Mr. Delahunt. But Steve Flemmi never provided any
information relative to the whereabouts of Frank Salemme in New
York City.
Mr. Rico. I think Frank--excuse me, I think Steve Flemmi
was a fugitive at the same time so that he wasn't available to
provide anyone with information.
Mr. Delahunt. So it was simply a coincidence?
Mr. Rico. Lucky is what I think.
Mr. Delahunt. You know, just for a minute touching on the
Wheeler case, and we all have coincidences in our lives, but
the witness you referred to, John Martorano, who has admitted
killing Wheeler----
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt [continuing]. Has testified under oath that he
was instructed or contracted for the hit by Steve Flemmi and
Whitey Bulger.
Mr. Rico. I understand that.
Mr. Delahunt. It's a coincidence that you were the handler
for Steve Flemmi and that Steve Flemmi ordered the hit on Mr.
Wheeler, who was the CEO of a company that you were employed
Mr. Rico. Right.
Mr. Delahunt. That's just a coincidence.
Mr. Rico. You want to tie me into Bulger. I can tie myself
into Bulger for you.
Mr. Delahunt. Go ahead.
Mr. Rico. Bulger.
Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Rico, I think I need full disclosure here
because somebody will, I'm sure, discover that years and years
ago I went to Saint Agatha's Parochial School with John
Mr. Rico. I knew that.
Mr. Delahunt. I figured you did know that. So I really
wanted to be forthcoming. And you should also know that John
Martorano and I served mass together for Cardinal Cushing back
in the eighth grade. So there are coincidences in life.
Mr. Rico. OK.
Mr. Delahunt. If you want to proceed, Mr. Rico.
Mr. Rico. The last time that Jimmy Bulger was arrested I
arrested him. I arrested him for two bank robberies and he pled
guilty to three bank robberies. And that's my Bulger
Mr. Delahunt. Well, thank you for that information. We'll
just conclude with a--to elicit a response from you to a
statement that was made by your counsel that appeared in the
Boston Herald dated January 10 of this year. ``Rico cannot be
blamed for men--referring to the innocent individuals that were
convicted in the Deegan case.'' Those are my parentheses.
That's not part of the quotation. It goes on. The former
agent's attorney said yesterday orders laid down by then FBI
Director J. Edgar Hoover kept information in the murder of
Edward Deegan locked away in FBI files all these years, Cagney
said. He was bound by the hierarchy, Cagney said. All that went
to Rico supervisor--all that, rather, went to Rico supervisors
and he can't release that without permission of his
Is that your position as well?
Mr. Rico. I don't know where that came from. I hear what
you're saying but it doesn't sound--I'm sorry, I have got a
cold. But it doesn't sound like Cagney and it doesn't sound
plausible to me.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you.
Mr. Delahunt. I yield back.
Mr. Barr. I thank the gentleman. That concludes this
hearing. Thank you, Mr. Rico.
Mr. Rico. Thank you. Am I dismissed?
Mr. Barr. Yes, sir.
Mr. Rico. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 5:34 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]
[Exhibits used for the hearing record follow:]

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