U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
February 5, 2010
Anthony St. Laurent, Sr., wife and son
charged with extortion
FBI agents, working with Rhode Island State Police and Providence Police, today arrested Dorothy St. Laurent and Anthony St. Laurent, Jr. on charges of interstate extortion. They are the wife and son of Anthony St. Laurent, Sr. and are charged in a federal complaint 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.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Lanny A. Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Criminal Division, Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Colonel Brendan P. Doherty, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, and Colonel Dean Esserman, Providence Police Chief, jointly announced the arrests and complaint.
Dorothy St. Laurent, 73, of Johnston, and Anthony St. Laurent, Jr., 44, of Cranston, appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond, who released them both on bond but confined St. Laurent, Jr. to his home. Anthony St. Laurent, Sr., who is incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center, Devens, Massachusetts, will appear before a magistrate at an unscheduled date and time.
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.
A complaint is merely an allegation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The charge, interstate extortion in violation of the Hobbs Act, is a felony and subject to review by a federal grand jury.
The FBI, Rhode Island State Police, and Providence Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch and Trial Attorney Scott Lawson of the Department of Justice Organized Crime and Racketeering Section are prosecuting the case.