Boston mobster's lover gets 8 years in prison

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The longtime girlfriend of Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in prison for helping him stay on the run for 16 years.

Catherine Greig showed no emotion when the U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock handed down the sentence. He also fined her $150,000.

The 61-year-old Greig pleaded guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud.

The 82-year-old Bulger is awaiting trial on charges he participated in 19 murders. Authorities captured the couple in Santa Monica, Calif., last June.

Prosecutors say the pair posed as married retirees from Chicago and had a stash of more than $800,000 in cash and 30 weapons in their apartment upon capture.

Prosecutors had asked for a decade in prison for Greig, while her attorney sought a more lenient sentence of 27 months.

She faced a maximum of 15 years -- five years on each of the three charges.

Greig had been by Bulger's side for more than three decades, first as a secret girlfriend he kept on the side while he lived with another woman, then as the faithful woman who left behind her life in Massachusetts so she could go on the run with him.

Greig's plea deal with prosecutors doesn't require her to cooperate in the case against Bulger. But prosecutors said it doesn't preclude them from trying to compel her to testify against him.

In her plea agreement, Greig admitted that she used aliases, unlawfully obtained identification documents and repeatedly helped Bulger get prescription medication from a pharmacy by pretending to be his wife.

Greig, a former dental hygienist and dog groomer, had been Bulger's side girlfriend for 18 years while Bulger lived with another longtime girlfriend, Teresa Stanley.

Authorities have said that Bulger initially fled Boston with Stanley in 1994 after being tipped that he was about to be indicted. The tip came from former FBI agent John Connolly Jr., who was Bulger's FBI handler when Bulger was an informant who gave the FBI information about the rival New England Mafia. Connolly was later convicted of racketeering for his role in Bulger's disappearance.

After a few months on the run, Bulger returned to Boston, dropped off Stanley and picked up Greig.

The couple traveled extensively during their first year on the run -- to Chicago, New York City, Grand Isle, La., and other places -- but then settled in a two-bedroom rented apartment in Santa Monica.

Last June, Bulger and Greig were apprehended just days after the FBI began a new publicity campaign focusing on Greig.

Greig's lawyer says Bulger is "the love of her life" and she doesn't believe he is guilty of the crimes he's been charged with.