The Eastport sting: Tribe’s attorney comes home to cuffs

July 8th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »



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A woman walks past the Eastport house that Don Gellers called home when he represented the Passamaquoddys in the 1960s. Gellers was arrested here in 1968, right after filing a $150 million land claims suit for the tribe, on charges of “constructive possession” of marijuana cigarettes.

aving filed the Passamaquoddy’s unprecedented land claims suit against Massachusetts and by extension Maine, the tribe’s attorney Don Gellers returned home to Eastport, arriving the evening of March 10.

Inside, he expected to find his current house guest, Al Cox, perhaps the only black man in Washington County, whose rental home’s furnace had failed during the winter.

But alongside Cox in the living room, towering over Gellers, was Danny Bassett – whose estranged wife had left him and was intending to marry Gellers – as well as a man he’d never seen before. Danny introduced the man as Larry Burke, a Boston-based gangster affiliated with the notorious and deadly Patriarca crime family.

“That’s what greeted me when I came home,” Gellers recalls. “Who knows how long they’d been in the house and what they’d been doing.”

In fact, they’d been coming and going out of the house for several days, allegedly terrorizing Cox. According to Gellers, Bassett was having sex with a girlfriend in his bed.

The purported Mafioso said he had a traffic summons he needed advice on. Bassett dropped ominously that the wise guy had once shot a man in a parking lot on little provocation. Bassett

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