The former cellmate of a man accused of murdering organized crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger says he and others suspected of being involved have been held in solitary confinement since the notorious Boston gangster’s death more than two years ago, according to a recent report.
Sean McKinnon, 35, told NBC News he’s “an innocent man” and is being left in the dark as to why he has been held in solitary confinement since 89-year-old Bulger was found slain in October 2018. Bulger’s body was discovered on the morning of Oct. 30 in his jail cell at United States Penitentiary, Hazelton, a high-security federal prison in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia.
“I told the feds if I had something to tell them, I would,” McKinnon told the news station in a phone interview from the prison. “I know nothing.”
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) records show McKinnon is due to be released on July 27, 2022. According to the report, he was convicted of stealing guns in Vermont and was sentenced to eight years behind bars.
In these 1984 file photos originally released by the FBI, New England organized crime figure James “Whitey” Bulger is shown.
(AP Photo/Federal Bureau of Investigation, File)
At the time of Bulger’s murder, McKinnon was a cellmate of Fotios “Freddy” Geas, who is one of two people suspected of having a connection to the octogenarian’s death.
Shortly after Bulger’s slaying, The Associated Press cited an ex-investigator in describing Geas as a Mafia hitman who is said to hate “rats.”
Bulger was serving a life sentence for 11 murders and other crimes when he was beaten to death in his prison cell, hours after he was transferred to a West Virginia prison.
He was reportedly found bloodied and wrapped in a blanket on Oct. 30 after apparently being beaten with a lock stuffed in a sock.
FILE – This June 23, 2011, file booking photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows James “Whitey” Bulger. Officials with the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Bulger died Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in a West Virginia prison after being sentenced in 2013 in Boston to spend the rest of his life in prison.
((U.S. Marshals Service via AP, File))
McKinnon told NBC News that corrections officers showed up at his jail cell following Bulger’s death.
“I was sitting around watching the news that morning,” he said during a phone interview. “I went to breakfast, came back. All of a sudden, they ran in our room and said, ‘Cuff up.’”
They did not provide him a reason when he asked, according to the report.
“They’re treating me as a guilty man,” McKinnon said.
No one has been charged yet in Bulger’s killing.
According to the report, McKinnon is sharing a cell with someone, but is only allowed one phone call per month and has been removed from the general population under conditions that are considered solitary confinement.
He has reportedly not been contacted by investigators since the months after Bulger’s death.
Geas, an alleged mobster named Paul DeCologero, and another inmate, Felix Wilson, were also transferred to the “hole,” according to the report. McKinnon does not reportedly have any known mob affiliation.
DeCologero was part of an organized crime gang led by his uncle on Massachusetts’ North Shore called the “DeCologero Crew.” He was convicted in 2006 of racketeering and witness tampering charges for a number of crimes and is slated for release in 2026.
Meanwhile, Geas was a close associate of the Mafia and acted as an enforcer, but was not an official, “made” member because he is Greek, not Italian.
Geas and his brother were sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for their roles in several violent crimes, including the 2003 killing of Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, a Genovese crime family boss in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In this April 14, 2009 photo, Fotios “Freddy” Geas appears for a court proceeding in his defense in the Al Bruno murder case, in Springfield, Mass. (Don Treeger /The Republican via AP)
Geas and DeCologero, according to McKinnon, are both “innocent men.”
Wilson, who was housed with Bulger the night before his death, was released less than a year after he was moved to solitary, according to the report.
A BOP spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request seeking comment and confirmation.
In January, McKinnon submitted an official complaint to warden Rich Hudgins, in which he said he has had his “basic comfort privileges denied and forced to endure the cruel and inhuman living conditions in the [special housing unit], without cause,” according to the report.
He asked for a hearing so he could be given information “as to why I am being punished,” but Hudgins ultimately denied the request because of the “ongoing investigation,” according to the report.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.