Winter Hill Gang Member Sentenced
JUN 24 - A longtime Winter Hill Gang member was sentenced today in federal court.
Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration; United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Colonel Thomas G. Robbins, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Joseph A. Galasso, Special Agent in Charge of the U. S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; and Kathleen O’Toole, Commissioner of the Boston Police Department, announced today that JOHN V. MARTORANO, age 63, was sentenced by U. S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf to 14 years in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.
On September 30, 1999, MARTORANO pleaded guilty to a Superseding Information containing charges relating to 10 previously unsolved murders committed in the District of Massachusetts between 1973 and 1976. Judge Wolf officially accepted MARTORANO’s plea today prior to imposing sentence. As part of his plea agreement with the government,
MARTORANO also pleaded guilty to murders committed in the States of Oklahoma and Florida. MARTORANO was sentenced in both states to 15 years in prison to run concurrently to the federal sentence imposed today. The agreement also detailed 8 additional previously unsolved murders committed in Massachusetts. In accordance with the requirements of the plea agreement, MARTORANO cooperated fully with federal authorities and with state authorities in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Florida. Prosecutors credited MARTORANO with being instrumental in achieving among other things the convictions of former FBI Agent John Connolly, former Massachusetts State Police Lt. Richard Schneiderhan, and former FBI informant Stephen Flemmi. MARTORANO also provided information which assisted the authorities in recovering the remains of three individuals who had been murdered by members of the Winter Hill Gang.
“ The unsavory reality for law enforcement is that we often have to deal with the worst kinds of criminals to get others in a criminal organization,” stated U. S. Attorney Sullivan.
“ Martorano’s decision to cooperate, literally opened the floodgates and led to, among other things, the cooperation of Kevin Weeks, Bulger’s admitted “right- hand man” and Frank Salemme, the leader of the mafia in New England. Weeks, Salemme and Martorano were essential to the Government in its attempt to fully unravel Bulger and Flemmi’s criminal activity and to identify the extent of corruption within the Boston FBI at the time. Yet despite his extensive cooperation, the fact remains that Martorano is a criminal who committed numerous unspeakable acts of violence. My hope is that the victim families and the public understand the horrible dilemma we in law enforcement faced in this case and why John Martorano’s cooperation was so important to the Government’s investigation and why it was compelled to make this agreement.”
MARTORANO had been a fugitive from federal racketeering charges for over sixteen years when he was captured in Florida in 1995. He was indicted in federal court in Boston in August of 1995 for racketeering and related charges connected to his continued participation in the gambling, loan sharking, and extortion activities of the Winter Hill Gang.
The case was investigated by the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massachusetts State Police, the U. S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and the Boston Police Department. The case was handled by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Fred M. Wyshak, Jr., Brian T. Kelly, and James D. Herbert in Sullivan’s Organized Crime Strike Force Unit.