BOSTON – The longtime girlfriend of reputed Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger was indicted Thursday for allegedly helping him dodge authorities during his 16 years on the run.
Federal prosecutors have charged Catherine Greig with conspiracy to harbor and conceal a fugitive, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. No date has been set for her arraignment.
Greig, 60, has been held since she and Bulger were captured June 22 in Santa Monica, Calif. A call to Greig's attorney, Kevin Reddington, was not returned Thursday.
Bulger has pleaded not guilty to charges that he participated in 19 murders during the years he was leader of the Winter Hill gang, while also acting as an FBI informant against rival mobsters.
In the indictment, prosecutors say Greig refused to let law enforcement officers search for Bulger at her Quincy, Mass., home several days after he disappeared in late December 1994. The following February, she met Bulger at a Boston beach after driving around the city for an hour to shake any surveillance, the indictment said. Later that month, she allegedly met Bulger in his car and they fled the state.
The two checked into a New York hotel that September, and were in Louisiana by June 1996, the indictment said. That summer, an unidentified friend prepared false identification for Bulger after taking photos of an unnamed Bulger relative who was wearing a false mustache to look more like Bulger, the indictment said.
The couple traveled by train between New York and Chicago later that year, before allegedly settling in Santa Monica in 1998 under the names Charles and Carol Gasko, one of several aliases allegedly used by Greig over the years.
The indictment said Greig told the property manager at their Santa Monica apartment that her husband had emphysema, as a cover to explain why Bulger stayed indoors with the shades drawn to avoid being seen. Over the next few years, the indictment said, Greig and Bulger used cash and money orders for rent and medication to further reduce the chances they'd be discovered.
At a bail hearing last month, Reddington, described Greig as a subservient woman, in love with Bulger, and unaware of the extent of his alleged crimes when she fled with him. Bulger was facing an extortion charge in a racketeering indictment when the couple left Boston, Reddington said.
Reddington argued at her bail hearing last month that Greig should be released on bail with electronic monitoring.
"This woman is not a violent person," he said. "Her only crime is a crime of passion — falling in love with this gentleman."
But prosecutors countered that Greig was still a risk to flee and had actively helped Bulger evade capture. Meanwhile, relatives of Bulger's alleged murder victims argued against her release. Tom Donahue, whose father, Michael Donahue, was allegedly killed by Bulger in 1982, said releasing Greig would be "unjust and unbearable."
Greig has agreed to be held while Reddington gathers more information to support her bail request.
Bulger first fled after being tipped by an FBI agent that he was about to be indicted on racketeering charges. The murder allegations were added in a separate racketeering indictment four years later.
Bulger and Greig, a former dental hygienist, were caught just days after the FBI began a new publicity campaign focusing on Greig and aimed at a female audience.
The FBI said on Greig's wanted poster that she frequented beauty salons, and had well-kept teeth and multiple plastic surgeries.
When the pair was caught, authorities found more than $800,000 in cash and more than 30 weapons in their California apartment.