Bulger, a Boston gangster convicted in 2013 of numerous crimes-including involvement in 11 murders, was recently transferred to USP Hazleton after being moved from a Florida prison and then an Oklahoma transfer facility. He had a kind of Robin Hood-like image among some locals, but authorities said he would put a bullet in the brain of anyone who he even suspected of double-crossing him.
The Dept. of Justice says Bulger was found at 8:20 AM, and prison staff immediately attempted to resuscitate him. An investigation by the FBI into the incident is ongoing.
His death comes on the same day that he was transferred to the Hazelton penitentiary in West Virginia, which houses 1,385 inmates, according to reports. His inmate number was 02182-748.
James "Whitey" Bulger is seen in this undated police photo. "No other information will be released at this time", said Stacy Bishop, a spokeswoman for William J. Powell, the US attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia.
Bulger was organized crime boss of the Winter Hill Gang for a number of years and was second after terrorist Osama bin Laden the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for 12 years.
Bulger was arrested with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig.
Bulger's capture came on the heels of an Federal Bureau of Investigation media campaign at the time to determine his whereabouts.
Bulger had told his attorney J.W. Carney that he regretted never marrying Greig, who abandoned her old life to join the FBI-wanted mobster in hiding.
"Although there are those who doubted our resolve, it never wavered", Boston FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers said in announcing the arrests.
A federal jury convicted Bulger that year of 31 counts, including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, drug dealing and weapons possession. He was finally captured in 2011, and two years later, he was found guilty on 31 charges stemming from his involvement in 11 murders, among a litany of other crimes. Salemme and Weadick were both sentenced to life in the case.
A source told the Boston Globe that Bulger had been in deteriorating health for years and had a heart condition. "Today's conviction does not alter that harm, and it doesn't lessen it". His life was detailed in the 2015 film Black Mass, where he was portrayed by Johnny Depp.
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