Former officials for the South Boston-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 82 face counts of racketeering, extortion, mail fraud, theft and other criminal charges. Local 82 provided labor at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) prior to being absorbed by Teamsters Local 25 earlier this year.
“These defendants allegedly used threats and intimation to force businesses and organizations to hire their members … or else, and the threats didn’t end there,” said Edward Davis, Boston Police Commissioner. “In this case, the defendants allegedly went so far as to prey on their own, threatening their own members with violence if they complained about not getting work.
“These indictments send a powerful message: Boston is not a pay-to-play city,” said Davis. “Working with our federal partners, we will continue to aggressively go after those who think they are above the law.”
Local 82 had about 500 members when it became a part of the much larger Teamsters Local 25 as of Jan. 1. Since then, the high profile case is heating up with leaders of the former local indicted on dozens of counts of criminal activity.
Indicted on 30 counts of federal charges are former Local 82 Secretary John Perry, 60, of Woburn, Mass., Joseph “JoJo” Burhoe, 44, of Braintree, Mass., James “Jimmy the Bull” Deamicis, 49, of Quincy, Mass., and Thomas Flaherty, 49, of Braintree. Collectively known as the “Perry Crew,” the four defendants are accused of engaging in illegal activities since at least 2007 with the intent of generating money for themselves and their families and friends in direct violation of the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
The Perry Crew allegedly targeted local hotels, businesses, event planners, caterers, hospitals, non-profit organizations and other organizations that did not have collective bargaining agreements with Local 82. They allegedly threatened to picket and disrupt business activities unless demands were met for payments for unneeded jobs to be filled by members of the Perry Crew, their family and friends, according to the federal indictment.
The four men also are accused of making threats, both physical and economical, against their own members, including assaulting some members who complained about not getting jobs and disputed the outcomes of local union elections. Burhoe, Deamicis and Flaherty also face charges of illegally accepting unemployment benefits since 2008.
Local 25 has about 11,000 members, and its leadership is working to undo any damages allegedly inflicted by the Perry Crew and ensure members are treated fairly.
“We work hard every day to make certain that our members who are employed at the BCEC are working under a system that gives every member a fair chance for employment opportunities,” said Sean M. O’Brien, president, Local 25. “The overwhelming acceptance of the referral system by our members and the lack of any complaints is proof positive that it’s working. Our members at the BCEC have every right to expect Local 25’s best efforts in representing them and I’ve promised them they’ll receive nothing less.”
If convicted, the members of the Perry Crew each face up to 30 years in prison plus several more years of supervised release and fines of up to $250,000 on each of the counts against them.