Prosecutors in the trial of James “Whitey” Bulger turned their focus to the death of John McIntyre, a fisherman who smuggled guns to the Irish Republican Army (IRA), in the 1980s.

“Whitey” Bulger
the former mob boss of the Boston Irish gang Winter Hill gang is charged with numerous crimes including 19 murders, which prosecutors claim he committed or ordered.

On Wednesday the Boston court heard how the Boston Winter Hill gang used fishing boats and freighters to smuggle drugs into the US and ship guns to the IRA, to be used in their fight against the British.

In 1984, the Valhalla ship left Gloucester, Ma, with seven tons of munitions, including assault rifles, hand grenades and Redeye surface-to-air missiles. The destination was Ireland.

The Valhalla with McIntyre on board  transferred the guns to a fishing boat the “Marita Ann” that was captured by authorities.

John McIntyre disappeared in 1984 having cooperated with the FBI, who were investigating Bulger and his gang, Reuters reports.

McIntyre had spilled the beans on Bulger’s involvement to John Connolly. not knowing the FBI agent was in the pay of Bulger.

Bulger was incensed that McIntyre had informed on him.

Previously, associates of Bulger’s, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi and Kevin Weeks, had testified that the Winter Hill boss had shot McIntyre in the head. First he had tried to strangle him but failed, then asked him if he wanted a bullet in the head instead. McIntyre agreed and was shot dead.

McIntyre had named Bulger’s associate Irish-born Patrick Nee as the organizer of drugs and weapons shipments in and out of Boston.

Both Nee and Flemmi have been called to testify in the trial, reports the Gloucester Times.

Former U.S. Customs officer Donald DeFago testified in court, on Wednesday, saying McIntyre vanished after helping investigators intercept 36 tons of marijuana stashed in a gravel cargo on a freighter in the Boston Harbor. His body was found in 2000.

DeFago said “He had instructions to call us ... every day and when he didn't call we got suspicious and started to go out and look for him.”

In November 1984 Bulger had Weeks and Nee lure McIntyre to an East Boston house where the informant was shot in the head before being buried in the basement. McIntyre’s body was not found until 2000.

Although Bulger has pleaded not guilty to all charges he has, through his lawyer, admitted to being extortionist, drug dealer, loan shark and "organized criminal."

In 1994 Bulger, who had become one of the most feared criminals in Boston, received a tip from Connolly the corrupt FBI agent and fled. He was finally caught after 16 years. He was found living with his girlfriend in California, in June 2011.

Now, aged 83, if found guilty he faces life in prison.