BOSTON — Former Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger was moved to a federal prison in Oklahoma on Monday, although it was not immediately clear why.
The 84-year-old Bulger was being held at FTC Oklahoma City, according to Chris Burke, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Prisons. The facility is a transfer point and its mission is to house inmates as they are moved between prisons, Burke said. He would not say where Bulger is ultimately headed, citing Bureau of Prisons policy.
Prosecutors in Tulsa, Okla., have been deciding whether to move forward with a first-degree murder charge against Bulger in the 1981 killing of businessman Roger Wheeler. Bulger was convicted by a federal jury in Boston earlier this year of killing Wheeler and 10 others. He was sentenced to two life terms.
Last month, Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris told the Tulsa World that prosecutors would take into consideration Bulger’s federal sentence as they decide whether to try him.
Wheeler’s daughter, Pam, has said she didn’t want Bulger extradited to Tulsa, saying it would be a waste of taxpayer money.
“It took this long to come to a partial resolution. Just let it end there,” she told the Tulsa World in August.
Federal prosecutors in Boston, the Tulsa district attorney, Bulger’s attorneys and Wheeler’s son and his attorney did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Spokesmen for the U.S. Marshals Service in Oklahoma City and Tulsa said they had no information on why Bulger was transferred.
Bulger was moved out of Massachusetts to a federal prison Brooklyn, N.Y., in November.
A federal judge in Boston last week ordered Bulger to pay $6 million in restitution to Wheeler’s family. The mobster previously was ordered to pay $19.5 million in restitution to his other victims’ families and forfeit $25 million to the government.
Investigators found $822,000 in cash stashed in his apartment walls when he was caught in Santa Monica, Calif., after more than 16 years on the run.