U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
February 25, 2010
Anthony St. Laurent, Sr. makes initial appearance on extortion complaint
Anthony St. Laurent, Sr., 68, appearing by teleconference from a federal prison where he is currently detained, made an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond. A federal complaint charging the defendant with conspiracy to commit extortion was issued on February 4, 2010.
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 extortion charges. They are the wife and son of Anthony St. Laurent, Sr., and are charged in a federal complaint with conspiring with Anthony St. Laurent, Sr. to extort payments from bookmakers in the Taunton area.
Dorothy St. Laurent, 70, of Johnston, and Anthony St. Laurent, Jr., 44, of Cranston, appeared February 5, 2010 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond, who released them both on bond but confined St. Laurent, Jr. to his home.
St. Laurent, Sr. is presently detained in a federal prison where he is serving a 56 month sentence on a prior extortion conviction. He is also awaiting trial on a charge of solicitation to commit murder-for-hire.
According to an affidavit supporting the complaint (attached), 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 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 “protection” 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.
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.