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Police: Mobster Whitey Bulger arrested in Calif.

By Greg Risling

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, June 23 2011 12:45 a.m. MDT

The pair was scheduled to make an appearance in Los Angeles federal court Thursday. Bulger faces a series of federal charges including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, narcotics distribution, extortion and money laundering. Greig is charged with harboring a fugitive.

Bulger, nicknamed "Whitey" for his shock of bright platinum hair, grew up in a gritty South Boston housing project, and went on to become Boston's most notorious gangster. He led the violent Winter Hill Gang, a largely Irish mob that ran loan-sharking, gambling and drug rackets in the Boston area.

After he fled, he became one of the nation's most-hunted fugitives, charged in a number of murders that included the slayings of businessmen in Florida and Oklahoma. With a place next to Osama bin Laden on the "Ten Most Wanted" list, he had a $1 million reward on his head.

Bulger's younger brother, William, was one of the most powerful politicians in the state, leading the Massachusetts Senate for 17 years and later serving as president of the University of Massachusetts for seven years.

For many years, William Bulger was able to avoid any tarnish from his brother's alleged crimes. But in August 2003, William Bulger resigned his post as president of UMass amid pressure from Gov. Mitt Romney and Attorney General Thomas Reilly.

His resignation came two months after he testified about his brother before a congressional committee. William Bulger said he spoke to his brother shortly after he went on the run in 1995, but said he had not heard from him since and did not know where he was hiding out.

The committee, in a draft report issued in 2003, blasted the FBI for its use of Bulger and other criminals as informants, calling it "one of the greatest failures in the history of federal law enforcement."

Associated Press writer Christopher Weber contributed to this report from Los Angeles. Risling also reported from Los Angeles.

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