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Florida out to transfer Bulger there

Boston Herald

November 16. 2013 1:17AM

Miami Dade State Attorney's Office spokesman Ed Griffith said prosecutors there have issued an order seeking James "Whitey" Bulger to be transferred to Florida.

The order, called a detainer, calls for prison officials to transfer the mobster to the Sunshine State. Just when that may happen, however, is still being discussed.

"A detainer says Florida has an interest," Griffith said. "It's a notification from one state to the other. It is basically a formality for him not to be released. We want him."

Last night Bulger was back in a Plymouth prison after being slapped with two life sentences. Prosecutors in Oklahoma - where Bulger has another pending murder rap - are also mulling a capital case against the South Boston crime lord now that he's been sentenced in Boston for his three-decade reign of terror.

"First degree murder in Florida is a potential death penalty case. But there's a long process," said Griffith. "We don't do this randomly. No decision has been made."

Bulger is charged in Florida with the 1982 execution of businessman John Callahan and in Oklahoma with the 1981 slaying of World Jai Alai owner Roger Wheeler. Both were killed by Bulger henchman Johnny Martorano.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly said after Bulger's sentencing that it appears Bulger could be headed for Florida soon.

"It's our understanding that they're going forward in Florida," Kelly said.

Tulsa District Attorney Tim Harris said he'll confer with Miami prosecutors, as well as Wheeler's family, before deciding whether to bring Bulger to Oklahoma to face trial.

Meanwhile, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley is taking a look at the murder acquittals from the federal case to see if he can hold the mobster accountable on state charges for any other slayings.

Bulger was brought from the federal courthouse in Southie to Plymouth House of Corrections, where he'll be evaluated and classified by federal prison officials. The process, which includes security, medical and psychological reviews, could take up to six weeks.

Officials seek to keep convicts within 500 miles of their home, however, many high profile federal inmates are quickly shipped off under armed guard to ADX Florence, a maximum security prison in Colorado.

"We wouldn't comment on where an inmate is going until they arrive, and that's for security reasons," said federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke.

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