Old wounds between two law enforcement agencies are being torn wide open as the controversy about an FBI informant, who's also a leader in the New England Mafia intensifies.
Two retired State Police organized crime investigators are lashing out at the FBI, saying the feds never should have used Mark Rossetti as an informant.
Retired Det. Lt. Bob Long and Retired Det. Lt. Jack O’Malley were both on the front lines of the Whitey Bulger investigation.
They lived through the FBI's corruption in the Bulger case in which Bulger was protected by the feds and ultimately tipped off to his indictment, allowing Bulger to elude capture for years.
They hoped that was something of the past, but now they say they're not so sure.
"There's such mistrust that's built up over the years," said Long.
"I think sometimes the FBI thinks that organized crime is their domain. Stay away from it. We'll handle the organized crime stuff," said O'Malley.
The veteran organized crime investigators are speaking out after revelations that Mark Rossetti was a longtime FBI. informant.
Rossetti was arrested last year after a state investigation. He’s accused of running a highly organized and violent criminal enterprise.
"He's one of the worst of the worst. In my tenure there as the commander of the organized crime unit, his name would come up all the time," said O'Malley.
Court papers filed last week by Defense Attorney Bob George reveal State Police secretly recorded Rossetti talking to his FBI handler about 40 times.
The court documents mention the informant, but they do not identify him as Rossetti.
FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet asked the retired investigators, "Should the FBI have been using Mark Rossetti as an informant?"
"In my opinion no," replied O'Malley. "It's a very, very similar case to the Bulger case."
"Based on his history of being a suspect in many murders and trafficking heroin onto our streets, no way," said Long. "He shouldn’t have been an informant. They should be out targeting him."
"Why wouldn't you want to use someone like Rossetti as an informant?" asked FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet.
"Because of his history of violence," replied O'Malley. "You can not always know what he's doing."
FOX Undercover also learned that State Police earlier asked the FBI if Rossetti was an informant, and the FBI said no.
There was no comment from the retired investigators on that, but they keep thinking about the Bulger case.
"It seems to be happening all over again," said O'Malley.
The FBI did not react specifically to what the retired state police investigators are saying, but a spokesperson pointed to a joint press release issued last Friday by the FBI and the State Police.
In that statement, the FBI says it was prepared to stop using Rossetti as an informant after being notified by the State Police about Rossetti's alleged criminal activity, but that the State Police asked the FBI to continue the relationship so that Rossetti wouldn't be tipped off.
Congressman Stephen Lynch is now demanding answers from the FBI about the bureau's use of informants.
Congressman Lynch wants to know if the FBI is following its guidelines for handling informants.
He says Rossetti’s FBI handler should have known Rossetti was allegedly committing serious crimes if Rossetti was being closely monitored.
State Police spokesman David Procopio released the following statement:
“The concern of the Massachusetts State Police was then, as it remains now, to take off the streets and hold accountable a dangerous felon. To protect the integrity of our investigation, we requested there be no change in the pattern of contact between the target and his FBI handler. If there had been, the target would have become suspicious and the investigation would have been compromised. Because that was not allowed to occur, the investigation concluded with criminal charges against the target. Those who have had no involvement with this investigation, and who yet still have somehow seen fit to criticize aspects of it, fail to acknowledge that no rules were broken, and that a dangerous suspect was taken into custody. We make no apologies for the handling of this investigation and our cooperation with the FBI in regard to the intercepted conversations."