Mobster Bulger took trips, "armed to the teeth"

In this courtroom sketch, James "Whitey" Bulger stands during his initial appearance in a federal courtroom in Boston June 24, 2011.
AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins

BOSTON - Notorious gangster James "Whitey" Bulger has told agents who arrested him last week that he returned to Boston "armed to the teeth" several times during his 16 years on the run so he could "take care of some unfinished business."

The revelations about Bulger's life on the lam were disclosed in a written memo from prosecutors who are objecting to Bulger's request for a taxpayer-funded attorney.

In their memo, prosecutors say Bulger admitted he had been a frequent traveler as a fugitive, saying he went to Boston and also to Las Vegas several times to play slot machines.

Prosecution's memo on Bulger's travels (PDF)

Prosecutors say Bulger refused to say who he visited in Boston, but the accused mobster who sat atop the FBI's most-wanted list said he made the visits to "take care of some unfinished business."

The memo also reveals that Bulger had hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash stashed in the walls of his Santa Monica, Calif. apartment the L.A. Times reports.

When FBI agents stormed captured Bulger at his apartment last week, they found $822,198 inside the apartment, "much of it in packages containing $100 bills that were bundled together and hidden inside a wall," the document says.

Bulger, waiving his Miranda rights, told FBI agents that he traveled to Vegas, as well as to San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, where he bought pharmaceuticals.

Earlier Monday, a lawyer for one of Bulger's victims won a lien on the roughly $800,000 in cash authorities found in the apartment, where he was arrested last week after 16 years as a fugitive.

U.S. District Judge William Young issued an order Friday placing a lien on the money, which means the cash will be frozen for now. Prosecutor Brian Kelly suggested Bulger has additional hidden assets.

Boston attorney Anthony Cardinale, who represents Julie Dammers, said a judge will decide later whether Dammers or the government will get the $800,000.

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Dammers and her ex-husband Stephen Rakes, say they were forced at gunpoint to sell their liquor store to Bulger.

Cardinale argued that the money should be used to help pay off an unpaid civil judgment Rakes and her ex-husband received.

Prosecutors have said they plan to seek forfeiture of Bulger's assets.

Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf, who will preside over Bulger's case, has ordered prosecutors and Bulger's temporary lawyer to try to agree on whether Bulger will get a court-appointed attorney to defend him against charges that he had a role in 19 murders.

Prosecutors have objected to Bulger receiving a taxpayer-funded attorney. Kelly suggested Bulger may be able to get financial help from his brother, former Massachusetts Senate president William Bulger. In fact, when Bulger was arrested, he suggested to the FBI that William Bulger may be able to bail him and his girlfriend out of jail.

The memo arguing against allowing Bulger a taxpayer-funded attorney states: Althogh "Bulger has admitted that he had previously stashed money with people he trusted, he did not identify anyone who might be currently hiding his assets. In fact, Bulger's other brother - John Bulger - was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in 2003 after lying to a federal grand jury about several matters including his role in managing defendant Bulger's financial affairs which involved assisting defendant Bulger in hiding assets in Florida."

Wolf, in an order filed Sunday, told prosecutors and Bulger's provisional attorney to confer to determine whether they can reach an agreement.

As for Bulger's girlfriend arrested with the mob boss, Catherine Greig is at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, R.I.

The 60-year-old Greig is charged with harboring a fugitive.

The warden, Brian Murphy, had no further details on Greig's detention.

Greig has also retained a private attorney to represent her. Brockton attorney Kevin Reddington filed an appearance for Greig on Monday. He did not immediately return messages. During an initial court appearance on Friday, Greig requested court-appointed counsel.

Greig is due back in U.S. District Court in Boston on Thursday for a detention hearing.

Federal marshals in Boston did not immediately return messages.