Boston gangster sentenced in Tulsa to life in prison

Thursday, September 30th 2004, 12:54 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- A Boston mobster was sentenced to life in prison today in Tulsa for the 1981 murder of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler.

Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi was sentenced as part of a plea agreement to avoid the death penalty for his role in ten killings.

Flemmi helped prosecutors connect former FBI agent Paul Rico to Wheeler's murder. Rico died in January before he could go on trial.

Flemmi was a leader of a Boston mob and prosecutors believe Wheeler was killed because he suspected the mob of was skimming money from his World Jai Alai business.

Also charged in Wheeler's murder are mobster James Bulger and confessed hit man John Martorano.

Martorano pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Wheeler's death while Bulger remains at large after disappearing in 1995.