Federal agents said Thursday morning that their often-criticized 16-year manhunt for notorious Boston crime boss James J. "Whitey" Bulger came to an end after agents used a ruse to lure him from his Santa Monica home Wednesday.
The tip came in around 8 p.m. Tuesday and was the direct result of a recently launched media campaign.
"Although there are those who have doubted our resolve over the years, it has never wavered," Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston division, said to a room full of reporters in the U.S. Attorneys office at the John Joseph Moakley federal courthouse in Boston.
Bulger, 81, was arrested without incident around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday after federal agents lured him out of his Santa Monica home, where he had been living under the pseudonym Charles Gasko. Bulger's longtime companion, Catherine Greig, who was using the name Carol Gasko, was also arrested. Inside the home federal agents found guns and a large amount of cash, DesLauriers said.
Bulger is scheduled to make an initial court appearance in California today at 2 p.m., Pacific time. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said that the date of Bulger's arraignment in Massachusetts will depend on what happens in the California courtroom today. He is facing charges in connection with 19 murders, extortion, money laundering, conspiracy and others. Greig will face at least one charge of harboring a fugitive, Ortiz said.
DesLauriers praised the media for its help in giving the Bulger case exposure and said the tip was the "direct result of media initiatives." Those efforts included a recent media campaign in 14 cities looking for information about Bulger or Greig.
But DesLauriers said that Bulger will be in Boston within 48 hours.
DesLauriers would not comment on whether the tip involved information about Bulger or about Greig; he would also not discuss the nature of the ruse agents used to nab him.
Authorities would not comment on whether the $2 million reward the FBI offered for Bulger's arrest would be collected. Greig's arrest carried a $100,000 reward. Authories would not give out any information about the tipster.