States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|June 21, 2011||
STAMFORD MAN INDICTED FOR EXTORTION
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned a superseding indictment charging NICOLA MELIA, also known as “Nick,” 78, of Brushwood Road, Stamford, with five counts of collecting extensions of credit by extortionate means and one count of possession of ammunition by a previously convicted felon. The superseding indictment was returned yesterday, June 20.
According to the allegations set forth in the superseding indictment and statements previously made in court, MELIA made “street loans” to an individual in Fairfield County at high interest rates. On five separate occasions between November 14, 2010, and January 30, 2011, MELIA threatened the individual that he or she would be subject to violence if the debts were not paid.
The superseding indictment further alleges that, on March 23, 2011, MELIA illegally possessed approximately 40 bullets. Prior to that date, MELIA had been convicted of multiple federal felony offenses. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
MELIA has been detained since his arrest on March 23, 2011.
If convicted of the extortion charges, MELIA faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000, on each count. If convicted of the ammunition charge, MELIA faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Fairfield County Organized Crime Task Force, which includes members of the Stamford Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Hal Chen, Peter Jongbloed and Ray Miller.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
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