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Ex-FBI agent charged with lying at Whitey Bulger trial

Former FBI agent Robert Fitzgerald surrendered to U.S. Marshals after he was accused of lying on the stand during the trial of convicted murderer and crime figure James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger
Ex-FBI agent accused of lying in “Whitey” Bulger trial 00:56

BOSTON -- A retired FBI agent who was once second in command in the bureau'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.

CBS Boston reports that the indictment accuses Fitzgerald as falsely painting himself as a whistleblower.

"During the course of that testimony, Fitzpatrick made false material declarations designed to aid Bulger's defense," the indictment stated. "Fitzpatrick also made false material declarations...false claims about his professional accomplishments as an FBI agent."

James Fitzpatrick CBS Boston

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 as 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.

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