(CBS/AP) BOSTON - The longtime girlfriend of mobster James "Whitey" Bulger should spend 10 years in prison because she knowingly protected one of the region's most violent criminals for more than 16 years, federal prosecutors said Friday.
In a sentencing memo filed in U.S. District Court, prosecutors say Catherine Greig hid Bulger's identity and handled the daily tasks necessary for them to keep a low-profile in Santa Monica, Calif., where the couple was captured last June while living in a rent-controlled apartment.
According to CBS station WBZ in Boston, the U.S. Attorney's office recommended at 10-year sentence, a $125,000 fine and three years of parole.
Bulger, now 82, is the former leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang. Nicknamed "Whitey" for his platinum hair, he grew up in a South Boston housing project and led the violent gang with Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, reported. The Winter Hill Gang was a mostly Irish mob that ran loan-sharking, gambling and drug rackets in and around Boston. He is charged with participating in 19 murders and is awaiting trial.
Bulger inspired Martin Scorsese's 2006 film "The Departed," which won several Academy Awards, and has been the subject of several books.
Greig, 61, pleaded guilty in March to three charges, admitting she used aliases and obtained prescription medications for Bulger by pretending to be his wife. Although the charges carry a maximum of 15 years in prison, federal prosecutors had warned family members of the people Bulger is accused of murdering that she could get as little as 32 months under federal sentencing guidelines.
In their memo, prosecutors said Greig deserved a much longer prison term.
"Greig's conduct also did far more than protect Bulger from law enforcement. It also denied victims and family members of victims for many years the opportunity to see Bulger answer for his alleged crimes," prosecutors wrote.
"Those victims and the public at large spent sixteen years watching revelation after revelation of violence and corruption unfold while the person allegedly at the center of it, Bulger, was absent. The sentence ought to take into account the broader effect of Greig's conduct in order truly to reflect the seriousness of the offense and the need to promote respect for the law," prosecutors wrote.
Greig's lawyer, Kevin Reddington, declined to comment on the recommendation from prosecutors.
"I'm going to leave it up to the judge," Reddington said.