AP Photo/WBUR 90.
This booking photograph shows Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger.
Mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was taken to a Boston hospital Sunday after complaining of chest pains at the prison where he is awaiting trial for his alleged role in 19 murders, local media reported.
Bulger, 83, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, was hospitalized Sunday for chest pains at Boston Medical Center, according to The Boston Globe.
Plymouth Fire Department battalion chief Kevin Murphy told The Globe that firefighters responded to the Plymouth County Correctional Facility at 1:48 a.m. Sunday and took Bulger to the hospital.
WBUR-FM in Boston first reported that Bulger was hospitalized for chest pains, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.
According to NBC affiliate WHDH in Boston, security has been heightened at the medical center, and Massachusetts State Corrections officers are working in shifts during Bulger's stay. U.S. marshals are also at the site guarding Bulger, WHDH reported.
“Maybe he's trying to get a rest, get out of the jail cell for a while,” a local resident told WHDH.
A Boston Medical Center representative refused to comment on the hospital's public safety plans, WHDH said.
The U.S. attorney's office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and Bulger attorney Hank Brennan declined to comment.
Bulger's trial is scheduled to begin in March, but his lawyers have said they cannot be ready by then because they are reviewing more than 300,000 documents turned over by prosecutors. Last week, they asked that the trial be moved to November 2013.
Whitey Bulger was often seen around Santa Monica, Calif. and took frequent trips to Mexico while evading the FBI. But after 16 years on the run, he's adjusting to life behind bars. NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports.
Bulger's lawyers said in court papers filed Friday that the current trial date infringes on Bulger's constitutional rights to effective counsel and due process.
Bulger's lead attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., has repeatedly complained that prosecutors have turned over documents in a disorganized fashion. Prosecutors have accused Carney of using stall tactics.
Bulger fled Boston in 1994 and was captured last year in Santa Monica, Calif.
The defense says Bulger was an FBI informant who had immunity to commit crimes while he was providing information about the Mafia, his gang's main rival. In court papers filed this week, Carney identified former U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O'Sullivan as the federal official Bulger claims gave him immunity. O'Sullivan died in 2009.
Prosecutors say Bulger never received immunity from anyone.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Boston Police Department via EPA
A Boston Police booking image dated March 16,1953, of James 'Whitey' Bulger.
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