Taxpayers unhappy with the expensive transport of Bulger
BOSTON -- James “Whitey” Bulger got quite the expensive ride to his court hearings on Thursday. Some say it was a security necessity, while others believe it was a waste of money.
“They always said he knew how to work the system and I guess we're seeing that played out in front of us,” said one woman.
A heavily armed US Marshal disembarked first, then Bulger was helped out of the US Coast Guard Helicopter at the Plymouth Airport - it was an expensive roundtrip ride for the reputed mob boss.
“There are a lot of people that break the law but how many do you know by name,” said one man.
The Coast Guard wouldn’t say why the US Marshals requested the special flights for Bulger’s federal court hearings - they were at a cost of $13,880 an hour for the manpower, fuel and logistics.
“That's a lot of dough re me,” said a man.
“Maybe they felt he needed that level of security because I don't know there lot of people who've been looking for him a long time,” said one woman.
The security was extremely high at Logan Airport where armed guards stood along the perimeter of the helicopter. Bulger got out of the US Marshals SUV and was escorted into the aircraft for his ride back to Plymouth on Thursday.
With Bulger on both flights were two pilots, an aviation mechanic and a US Marshal, according to the Coast Guard.
“There's no way he should be treated like a celebrity. Certainly he should be any different than anyone else,” said a man.
When Bulger got off the helicopter in Plymouth he gave a quick wave and then shuffled his shackled legs across the tarmac to an awaiting sheriff’s van.
This expensive round trip is something many tax payers are not happy about.
“I would like to think there's another way cost effective didn’t necessarily entail the use of helicopter,” said a man.
Bulger has taken a private jet from Los Angeles to Boston, he’s been caravanned back and forth between Plymouth and Boston, and now he’s had two helicopter rides bringing him to court.
The U.S Marshals District of Massachusetts released a statement:
"The United States Marshals Service does not release any specific information regarding the transport of federal inmates. The Marshals Service takes many considerations into account when moving federal prisoners and therefore regularly varies routes of travel based on weather, threat levels, traffic patterns and other significant events that me be happening in the area. It is not uncommon for the Marshals Service to utilize other resources to assist in their mission of providing the safe and secure movement of federal detainees. A transport on June 30th utilized a law enforcement component of the United States Coast Guard along with Deputy U.S. Marshals. The cost associated with this transport was $1500."
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