Unfortunately, the ex-con never cleared the trip with his probation officer. The investigation into Coyman’s death caused additional complications.
As for the $180,000 in cash, Fedele insisted it was not drug money and didn’t have anything to do with organized crime or with Merlino.
Burke had been working on a concert-promotion deal, but it had fallen through, and he was trying to return the cash to a North Carolina business associate, said Fedele and DiLibero, Burke’s lawyer.
Why didn’t Burke just send a check?
‘‘He went to jail when he was 23, so, his process is ... He does things the way he would have done them back then,’’ Fedele said. ‘‘Joe has a primitive way of thinking.’’
The Federal Bureau of Prisons said Burke’s projected release date is December. Fedele said he still hopes to find a producer willing to make an independent film about Busic, although he acknowledged that any movie about a protagonist responsible for the death of a police officer is a challenge.
‘‘There are some sensitive things. I'm figuring it out,’’ he said.
As for Burke, Fedele said, ‘‘He’s going to be out in a few weeks, and we’re going to get back to work.’’