James Ring

James ringJames Ring

Born: N/A

Association: Former FBI agent

On August 2, 1989, another informant who FBI agent James Ring regarded as highly reliable advised that Angelo “Sonny” Mercurio played a central role in the Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme shooting.See Exhibits: 188, 194, 237, 246 United States v. Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d pages 267-269 (D.Mass.1999) UNDER SEAL.FBI agent Ring’s testimony, June 16, 1998 Transcript at 55.The informant stated among other things that Mercurio fled after the shooting because he had lured Salemme to the meeting at which the attempt on his life was made.Exhibits: 188, 194, 234, 246. U.S. v. Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d 267-269 (D.Mass.1999) UNDER SEAL.

FBI agent James Ring believed that this information was true, and that Mercurio had previously failed to inform the FBI  of plans for imminent violent activity in which he was involved.
Ring June 19, 1998, Transcript at 20, 254; June 6, 1998 Tr. at 6 (UNDER SEAL); Exhibit 164.FBI agent Ring also recognized that there was an enduring threat of additional violence about which Mercurio would be knowledgeable because of his involvement.Ring’s testimony, June 19, 1998, Transcript at 19.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 268 (D.Mass.1999).

FBI Headquarters and the Assistant Attorney general should have been advised of the credible information that had been received concerning Mercurio’s involvement in the Grasso’s murder and the June 16, 1989 Salemme, attempted murder.
Id. at 157-58;FBI agent Summerford (Chief of the FBI’s Informant Unit), September 16, 1998, Transcript at 18.For the record Mercurio was an active Top Echelon FBI informant during the time of June 16, 1989, when he called Salemme to a location for a meetings to be assassinated.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 219, 262, 263-268 (D.Mass.1999).Chief of the FBI Informants Unit James Summerford, discussed materials by telephone with FBI supervisory agent James Ring on January 6, 1989.
Id. at 105-13; Exhibit 234.

In response to issues raised by FBI agent Summerford, agent Ring explained that Mercurio would ONLY be charges with crimes committed BEFORE he became a informant.
Exhibit 234; Summerford’s testimony September 15, 1998 Transcript at 110-13, 119.Verbal immunity, essentially granted immunity to Mercurio for his central role in the June 16,, 1989 Salemme attempted murder and Mercurio’s role in planning the June 1989 Grasso murder.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 265 (D.Mass.1999).Prior to the Salemme attempted murder on June 16, 1989. on June 13, 1989, The Boston Herald published an article by Shelley Murphy headlined:”Ex-Con seen as Hub Mob’s heir apparent.”Exhibit: TTT; FBI agent Ring’s testimony June 19, 1998 Transcript at 200-04.The article cites “law enforcement sources” and consists mainly of information that closely tracks the information that is included in FBI FD 209’s reports prepared by FBI agent Connolly based on his discussions with  FBI informants: Angelo “Sonny” Mercurio and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi.Id. Exhibit 37 (FBI FD 209 reports dated 3/20/1989 and 6/6/1989), 185, 195.

More specifically, the article reported accurately that “local mob leaders” Russo, Carrozza, Lepore and Mercurio would soon be indicted. Exhibit: TTT.As Mercurio had told agent Connolly the article stated that Salemme had been “made” a member of the Patriarca family.Id; Exhibits: 188, 191, Mercurio‘s FBI FD 209 reports dated 8/18/1989. #60 in Mercurio ‘s FBI informant file.The article went on to explain that Salemme was meeting frequently with Patriarca and using the precise term that agent Connolly ascribed to Flemmi a week earlier, had Patriarca’s “blessing” to take over the Boston’s LCN’s loan sharking and gambling activities when the expected indictments were issued.Exhibit: TTT; Exhibit: 37.FBI FD 209 report dated 6/6/1989.The Court (Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf, District of Massachusetts/Boston) is persuaded that FBI agent Connolly was a source for the article and that the article generated by FBI agent Connolly INFLAMED the June 16, 1989 Salemme attempted murder. 3 days later Salemme was shot.67/5/1998 Transcript at 5.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 267-268 (D.Mass.1999).

The Boston FBI, however, DID NOT provide the required notification to headquarters or to the United States Department of Justice.FBI agent Summerford’s testimony September 15, 1998, transcript at 157-158.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 269 (D.Mass.1999).Rather, it arrogated to itself the decision to continue to utilize Mercurio as an informant despite the fact that it was believed that he had, while an FBI informant, been involved in violence, in murder (Grasso Murder) and attempted murder (Salemme attempted murder June 16, 1989).Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 269 (D.Mass.1999);When Assistant United States Attorney Chief of the New England Organized Crime Strike Force: Diane Kottmyer, later learned of the RELIABLE REPORT of Mercurio’s involvement on the Salemme shooting she asked FBI agent Ring, whether it presented a problem under the Attorney General’s Guidelines. FBI agent Ring said IT DID NOT.

AUSA: Kottmyer’s testimony on August 14, 1998, Transcript at 180-81.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 269 (D.Mass.1999).In addition, the manner in which FBI agent Connolly and FBI agent Ring dealt with Mercurio concerning the ceremony is sufficiently distinctive to be probative of Flemmi’s claim that he and Bulger, like Mercurio were generally protected by agent Connolly and the FBI in return were alerted to their imminent indictment so they could flee.
Salemme , 91 F.Supp.2d at 269.

At some time prior to November 17, 1989, possibly in the October 29, 1989 telephone conversation with FBI agent Ring, Mercurio was, as directed by AUSA: Kottmyer, also told not to contact the FBI again except to report a threat of violence or an effort to obstruct justice. EXHIBIT: 169.This too signaled to Mercurio that it was time to “disappear,”Mercurio’s testimony August 5, 1998, Transcript at 127.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 288 (D.Mass.1999).FBI agent Ring established separate teams to arrest Russo, Ferrara and Carrozza.FBI agent Ring’s testimony June 15, 1998 Transcript at 165-66; June 22, 1998 Transcript at 64-66.No team was established to try to find and arrest Mercurio, who was then in Florida. Id.Mercurio’s testimony August 5, 1998, Transcript at 81.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 289 (D.Mass.1999).

After becoming a fugitive, Mercurio called FBI agent Connolly every several months.Mercurio’s testimony on August 4, 1998, Transcript at 60/September 16, 1998 Transcript at 86.This practice continued after FBI agent Connolly retired from the FBI in December 1990. Id.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 289-290(D.Mass.1999).He [Flemmi] also claimed that as part of his continuing relationship with the FBI he was specifically informed of the date of his indictment in this case were to be returned so he could flee if he chose to do so. Id.Flemmi, had previously asserted that in 1991 Mercurio had been given prior notice of his indictment so he could flee. EXHIBIT: 213.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 310 (D.Mass.1999).In late June 1997, the United States Attorney General established a “TASK FORCE” of the United States Department of Justice and FBI personnel to investigate the allegations of misconduct raised by Flemmi and the motion to suppress.

That task force conducted its investigation in July and early August 1997, and issued a confidential report to the U.S. Attorney General.  With the agreement of the government, the Court reviewed the Executive Summary of that report and some of the documents that the investigation generated in order to decide certain issues concerning discovery to be produced in connection with the motions to suppress.September 12, 1997, Transcript at 14-16.Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 310 (D.Mass.1999).Attorney Cardinale’s affidavit charged that FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr., had attempted to foment violence by telling him in 1989 that Salemme was planning to kill his then client Ferrara.Affidavit of Attorney: Anthony Cardinale, September 3, 1997. (UNDER SEAL)United States v. Salemme, 985 F.Supp. 193 (D.Mass. Sept. 10, 1997)Salemme, 91 F.Supp.2d at 311 (D.Mass.1999).

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Enlighten Yourself… “Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great. ” ~Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

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