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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Friday, April 17, 2015

Former Teamster Leader Sentenced for Extorting Boston Businesses

BOSTON – Two former members of a powerful Boston Teamsters local, including its principal officer and a member who had been convicted of a prior felony, were sentenced today on charges of extortion and racketeering, including charges that they extorted local non-profits.

John Perry, 62, of Woburn was sentenced to 30 months in prison, a $12,500 fine and one year of supervised release following his conviction on multiple felony counts after a seven week trial.  His co-defendant, Joseph “Jo Jo” Burhoe, 46, of Braintree, who was also convicted of multiple felony counts at the same trial, was sentenced to 70 months in prison and three years of supervised release.   Both were sentenced by Judge Denise Jefferson Casper who scheduled a restitution hearing for May 22.  Several members of former Local 82 gave victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing

Perry, the former Secretary/Treasurer of Boston Teamster’s Local 82, and Burhoe, a member who acted as Perry’s enforcer, were convicted of extorting non-profits and other non-union businesses in Boston, as well as extorting other union members of their wages and benefits.  Among the extortion victims were Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the United States Green Building Council.  Since the time of the crimes, Local 82 has been merged with Teamsters Local 25.  Those Locals load and unload trucks at major business and entertainment venues in downtown Boston.

Perry, Director of Trade Shows and Convention Centers for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 82, and Burhoe, a convicted felon who was a member of the union, worked in the trade show and moving industries.  Since 2007 the defendants engaged in illegal activities in order to generate money for themselves, their friends, and family members.  The defendants extorted various entities throughout Boston including hotels, event planners, catering companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, music entertainment companies, and non-profit organizations, none of which had collective bargaining agreements with Local 82.

The defendants threatened to picket and disrupt business, sometimes just hours before an event, if the entity did not accede to the defendants’ demand for unwanted, unnecessary and superfluous jobs for themselves, their friends and family.  Payment was demanded for these unnecessary jobs.  They also used threats of physical and economic harm to deprive members of Local 82 of their legally-protected rights as union members.

Two other defendants, James Deamicis, a/k/a “Jimmy the Bull,” 51, of Quincy, and Thomas Flaherty, 50, of Braintree were acquitted during the trial.

U.S. Attorney Ortiz; Inspector General Scott S. Dahl; Mark J. Neylon, District Director, Office of Labor-Management Standards, U.S. Department of Labor; Susan A. Hensley, Regional Director of The Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor; and Commissioner Evans made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Laura J. Kaplan and Susan G. Winkler of Ortiz’s Organized Crime and Drug Task Force Unit, respectively.

Updated April 20, 2015