2 ex-Teamsters convicted of federal extortion, racketeering charges; 2 others acquitted

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BOSTON — Two former members of the Teamsters union have been convicted of federal racketeering charges for using violence and threats of violence to win jobs and elections for union office.

Joseph Burhoe and John Perry were convicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boston of charges including racketeering, conspiracy and extortion.

Sentencing was scheduled for February.

Two other former Teamsters were acquitted of similar charges.

Prosecutors said the defendants took control of the Teamsters chapter for their own gain, threatened fellow members to make sure Perry was elected and stayed in control, and directed jobs to Perry's supporters.

They were also charged with intimidating business owners with threats of disruptive protests to earn union jobs.

Defense attorneys countered that their clients' conduct was simply union politics, and not criminal.

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