New Milford Man Involved in Extortion Scheme Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that HOWARD HAMMER, 45, of New Milford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in an extortion scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in late December 2015 to early January 2016, James Broderick, of New Milford, lent an individual approximately $1,500 with an understanding that the individual was required to pay Broderick $1,500, plus an additional $500 in interest, within four days of the initial loan. When the individual failed to pay the loan within four days, Broderick asked HAMMER to assist him in collecting on the loan. HAMMER then sent text messages to the victim that threatened harm to the victim if he failed to pay his debt. HAMMER took screen shots of the threatening text messages and forwarded them to Broderick. HAMMER and Broderick also discussed taking the victim’s car either as payment for the debt or as punishment for failure to pay the debt.
On January 25, 2016, members of the New Milford Police Department received a 911 call and responded to a local hotel where they found the victim of this extortion scheme, beaten and bloodied, in a room at the hotel. The victim had been stabbed eight times in back, causing internal injuries, and had suffered severe fractures to his skull and facial bones. The investigation revealed that members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club had stabbed the victim and beaten him with a hammer in connection with this extortion scheme.
HAMMER has been detained since his arrest on May 27, 2016. On December 2, 2016, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to participate in the collection and attempted collection of an extension of credit by extortionate means.
Broderick pleaded guilty to the same charge on December 7, 2016. He awaits sentencing.
This matter has been investigated by the FBI Violent Crime Task Force, New Milford Police Department and Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.