U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
August 12, 2010
Not Guilty Pleas Entered in Dorothy St. Laurent,
Anthony St. Laurent, Jr., Extortion Cases
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Not guilty pleas to federal extortion charges were entered in U.S. District Court in Providence Wednesday on behalf of Dorothy St. Laurent, 73, of Johnston, and her son Anthony St. Laurent, Jr., 44, of Cranston. The charges are contained in informations and plea agreements signed by the defendants and filed with the U.S. District Court. The defendants are expected to plead guilty to interstate extortion at change of plea hearings expected to occur later this month.
The not guilty pleas were announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, which were entered by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond.
On February 5, 2010, FBI agents, working with Rhode Island State Police and Providence Police, arrested Dorothy St. Laurent and Anthony St. Laurent, Jr., on federal complaints charging them with interstate extortion. The wife and son of Anthony St. Laurent, Sr., are charged with extorting payments from bookmakers in the Taunton area on his behalf. Anthony St. Laurent, Sr., who is serving a federal prison sentence, is also charged in the complaint with extortion.
According to an affidavit supporting the complaint, beginning in the late 1980s, Anthony St. Laurent, Sr. collected “protection” money from as many as four Taunton area bookmakers, usually through one bookmaker who acted as an intermediary for the others.
According to the affidavit, at times when Anthony St. Laurent, Sr. was incarcerated or physically incapacitated, Dorothy St. Laurent would make the collections for him, either at locations in Rhode Island such as the Lincoln Dog Track, or at various locations in Massachusetts.
The extortion collections continued until February 2009, according to the affidavit, and varied in amounts over the years and through the sports seasons. According to the affidavit, the collection payments were highest during football seasons.
According to the affidavit, the role of Anthony St. Laurent, Jr. in the operation was to enforce continued payments by the bookmakers, sometimes through physical assault.
An information is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland and Trial Attorney Scott Lawson of the Department of Justice Organized Crime and Racketeering Section are prosecuting the case.