Lottery chief recalls role in hunting Whitey Bulger

New Hampshire’s Lottery chief Charlie McIntyre was driving north to Twin Mountain to hand out a $1.5 million check to a lucky winner when he got the news – a text message that read “Caught Whitey.” The ride was a distinct reminder of his new life and the text message a distant memory from his past – one that intertwined with Boston’s notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.Bulger, now 81, was nabbed June 22 in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years on the run. For decades, he ran the Somerville, Mass.-based Winter Hill Gang, while at the same time being an FBI informant. His case has been a source of embarrassment for federal law enforcement officials, who protected him from prosecution and eventually tipped him off of an impending indictment, as well as inspiration for the Hollywood film, “The Departed.”Now, the FBI’s most wanted fugitive is behind bars and faces various charges including 19 murders, extortion and racketeering.McIntyre, who has been the executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery since June 2010, said he likes the pace of his new life, size and scope of his work and the culture of local involvement.But for a time, he was an organized crime prosecutor at the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office. He later was the Massachusetts Lottery’s general counsel. His family also had connections to the other Bulger, former Massachusetts Senate President Billy Bulger.Early ‘brush-by’McIntyre’s father, James, was a member of the State Senate (and mayor of Quincy, Mass.) and later became the Senate’s legal counsel. Charlie McIntyre also served on the Quincy City Council.In the 1980s, McIntyre had what he calls an early “brush-by” with Whitey Bulger at a gym in Boston. Bulger had a well-known enthusiasm for keeping fit. McIntyre was in his 20s at the time and training for a triathlon with a friend. His friend got into a conversation with a white-haired man, who he called a “workout nut,” that led to a disagreement about a particular exercise technique. The disagreement dissipated and the older man left without fanfare. They later learned the man was the Boston crime chief, Whitey Bulger.McIntyre became a prosecutor in 1994 and specialized in organized crime, drug enforcement and gambling cases. Leaning on bookies to reveal the mob leaders who they were paying for protection was a big part of his job, but he wasn’t alone in this tactic. So-called “protection money” was a major source of income – and became critical to the case to bust Bulger.Finally in April 1994, Bulger’s luck ran out. The federal Drug Enforcement Agency, State Police and Boston Police did an end-run around the corrupt local FBI office and got a few bookmakers to testify that they paid Bulger protection money. This led to an indictment and the mob leader’s many years on the lam.McIntyre continued trying to link bookmakers to Bulger in hopes that current payments could expose the fugitive’s whereabouts.Later, when McIntyre moved to the Massachusetts Lottery in 2003, it became his annual chore to provide the U.S. Marshal’s office with Bulger’s share of his 1991 lottery winnings.Bulger, along with three others, came forward with the winning ticket and shared the $14 million jackpot. He allegedly bought into the winning ticket to establish a legal source of income.”Since the IRS was doing lifestyle audits,” McIntyre said, “He (Bulger) approached the actual winner and told him, ‘we’re now partners’ and compensated him accordingly.”There have been several Whitey Bulger sightings over the years, so McIntyre was cautious about accepting the news of the mobster’s capture when he learned of it.”I didn’t believe it” at first, he said. “There has been so much folklore.”He remains fond of Billy Bulger, his father’s old colleague and former boss. “I get along very well with the Senate president” he said. “They are very different.” He continued, Billy Bulger is quiet and scholarly, and “he doesn’t even have a TV.”