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Press Release

Local 17 Member Sentenced For Racketeering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that James L. Minter III, 44, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to time-served and two years of supervised release to include six months home detention subject to electronic monitoring.  The defendant also was ordered to pay $12,000 in restitution to victims. 

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward H. White, who handled the case with retired Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce, Minter was a member of Local 17 of the International Union of Operating Engineers. The defendant was part of a conspiracy from approximately 2002 through 2005 to force several construction and contracting companies, including Zoladz Construction, Environmental Strategies, Ontario Specialty Contracting, Ecology and Environment, and Earth Tech, to sign collective bargaining agreements with Local 17 and agree to hire Local 17 members for various projects throughout Western New York. Minter, along with other Local 17 members, carried out a campaign of violence, vandalism, and intimidation against such companies, which included damaging construction equipment of the targeted construction companies and directing verbal and written threats to company employees and their family members.  

Minter was one of 12 officers and members of Local 17 arrested and charged in this case. Seven defendants pleaded guilty, President Mark Kirsch was convicted at trial, and four others were acquitted at trial. 

The investigation of this case was handled by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Shannon Woolard, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New York Regional Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Steven Nigrelli. 

Updated August 2, 2016