Mobster pleads guilty to racketeering charges related to murders

Tuesday, October 14th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Boston-AP) -- Mob informant Stephen ``The Rifleman'' Flemmi pleaded guilty today in Boston to racketeering charges that implicate him in ten murders, including one in Oklahoma.

The plea is part of a deal in which Flemmi avoids a death sentence and will serve life in prison.

He's charged in Oklahoma in the 1981 murder of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler. Oklahoma prosecutors will drop their request for the death penalty in exchange for Flemmi's cooperation.

Last week Flemmi accused former F-B-I agent Paul Rico of helping set up Wheeler's murder outside a Tulsa country club. Flemmi corroborated a confessed hitman's story that Rico provided information on Wheeler's schedule and other personal information.

Rico was arrested in Florida last Thursday and charged in Wheeler's death. An extradition hearing scheduled for today was postponed until Friday because his attorney says he hasn't spoken to Rico since his arrest.