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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Two Additional Ironworkers Plead Guilty

PHILADELPHIA- Two members of the Ironworkers Local 401, Edward Sweeney and Shawn Bailey, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court before the Honorable Michael Baylson. Sentencing hearings have been scheduled for January 27, 2015 and February 2, 2015, respectively.

Edward Sweeney, 53, of Philadelphia, PA pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy, maliciously damaging property by means of fire, use of fire to commit a felony, maliciously damaging property by means of fire, conspiracy to maliciously damage property by means of fire, and attempted maliciously damaging property by means of fire.  At the time, Sweeney was a business agent for the Ironworkers Local 401 and participated in a series of incidents on behalf of that union as part of the plan by the defendants to force non-union contractors to hire union labor.  Specifically, Sweeney admitted that he participated in 10 incidents of extortion or attempted extortion.  Sweeney further admitted his involvement in the Quaker Meetinghouse arson, an arson on Grays Avenue in Philadelphia, and an attempted arson in Malvern, as well as other episodes, all of which were in retaliation for the contractors’ failure to hire union ironworkers.

Shawn Bailey, 34, of Philadelphia, PA pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act Extortion for his participation in an extortion of a non-union contractor working on a warehouse on Grays Avenue in Philadelphia.

The case was investigated jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, with assistance provided by the Philadelphia Police Department Corruption Task Force, East Whiteland Township Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Employee Benefit Security Administration.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Livermore with legal assistance provided by Gerald Toner, Acting Deputy Chief for Labor-Management Racketeering, Organized Crime and Gang Section at the Department of Justice.

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PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525

Updated December 15, 2014