Published July 17, 2013
BOSTON – A businessman who says James "Whitey" Bulger put a machine gun between his legs and demanded $400,000 is the latest in a list of witnesses who've testified that Bulger extorted them as leader of the Winter Hill Gang.
Bulger is charged in a racketeering indictment with participating in 19 killings, extortion and money-laundering.
Michael Solimando on Tuesday described terrifying moments in 1982 when he said Bulger held a handgun to his face, then pushed a machine gun to his groin. Solimando says he eventually paid the money out of fear, even though he was a legitimate businessman.
At least a half dozen drug dealers and bookmakers have testified that Bulger demanded money from them. Another drug dealer is scheduled to testify Wednesday, along with relatives of people allegedly killed by Bulger's gang.