Vermont man, reportedly a suspect in Whitey Bulger’s murder, transferred from federal penitentiary

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A Montpelier man reportedly considered a suspect in the killing of Boston mobster Whitey Bulger in a federal penitentiary was transferred to a federal facility in Oklahoma, NBC News has reported.

Sean McKinnon of Montpelier was one of four men transferred to solitary confinement at the U.S. Penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia, one day after the notorious mobster was found dead in his cell on October 30, 2018.

According to NBC News, McKinnon’s mother, Cheryl Prevost, said that he called her last week from a facility in Atlanta and said prison guards had rousted him out of bed in the middle of the night. “They said, ‘Get your stuff. You’re going out of here,’” Prevost told NBC News. “He had no idea he was leaving.”

Just before Bulger was beaten to death with a padlock in a sock, McKinnon was assigned to a cell with Fotios (Freddy) Geas, a mafia hit man from West Springfield, Mass., who emerged as a suspect almost immediately after Bulger’s murder.

Also taken to solitary was Paul J. DeCologero, a Massachusetts organized crime figure who had been assigned to share a cell with Bulger. However, when he arrived at the Hazelton prison on Oct. 29, Bulger was reassigned to a cell with Felix Wilson, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, who was the fourth man moved to solitary that day.

According to the New York Times, it was “unclear” if McKinnon, DeCologero and Wilson were involved in Bulger’s death, helped plan or cover it up or had been moved to solitary as a precaution while the killing was investigated.

Citing online records and information from family members, DeCologero was transferred along with McKinnon out of the federal prison in West Virginia. Geas, remains in solitary, NBC News said.

McKinnon was 29 when he was sentenced in January 2016 to 96 months in prison for stealing .twelve 22 caliber handguns from a display case at R&L Archery, a Barre firearms dealer. He then drove to Hartford, Connecticut, where he traded the handguns for heroin and cocaine. 

McKinnon, now 35, is serving a seven-year sentence, and is set to be released from prison in July 2022. He has said that he knows nothing about the killing of Bulger.

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