Flooded South Boston with cocaine
This article gives the blow-by-blow of Bulger’s move into the coke trade in the 80s. In short, a big-time area kingpin named Joseph Tower was being threatened by a guy named Tommy Nee, who was shaking down dealers in the area. Tower contacted Bulger for help
As they cruised around in Bulger’s blue Malibu, according to Tower, the South Boston crime boss peppered Tower with questions about his drug business, which extended north and south from Boston. Then he proposed that Tower partner with the gangster’s friend, Billy Shea of South Boston, and promised that if he did, according to Tower, “there would be no problem. Nobody would bother you.”
Tower said he accepted Bulger’s offer, and business boomed as they began buying about a kilo of cocaine a week, at a cost of $28,000 to $34,000, from Colombian suppliers in Boston and Florida, then cut the drugs with solvents to double the size and increase street sales.
Tower told jurors that Bulger collected a weekly share of the profits because “he’s the one who set me up with Mr. Shea. He was the protection.”
This was important information because Bulger had a certain amount of public support over the years, despite all his crimes, because of an image as the man who was a “protector of South Boston who kept drugs from the streets”
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