BOSTON – A retired FBI agent who was once second in command in the agency's Boston office was arrested Thursday on perjury charges and accused of lying on the stand during the trial of gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.
James Fitzpatrick surrendered to U.S. marshals after learning there was a warrant for his arrest.
The 75-year-old Fitzpatrick was charged with six counts of perjury and six counts of obstruction of justice. He was due to appear in federal court on the charges Thursday afternoon.
During Bulger's 2013 trial, Fitzpatrick testified he tried to convince the FBI to terminate Bulger as an informant, because Bulger didn't appear to be helping the FBI's mission to gather information on the Mafia. Fitzpatrick said his bosses didn't agree with him.
Prosecutors suggested he exaggerated his claim to sell copies of a book he wrote about Bulger.
Fitzpatrick told jurors that in 1981, about six years after Bulger began working an informant, he was given the task of assessing the mobster to see if he was providing the FBI with useful information.
Fitzpatrick insisted that he tried repeatedly to persuade the FBI to end its relationship with Bulger, particularly after Bulger was considered a suspect in two 1982 killings.
During the trial, however, prosecutors suggested that Fitzpatrick exaggerated his claim.
"Weren't you more concerned with your own career rather than rocking the boat?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly asked Fitzpatrick on the stand.
The 85-year-old Bulger is serving two life sentences after his 2013 racketeering conviction tying him to 11 murders and other gangland crimes in the 1970s and `80s.