Howie Winter, former boss of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, was scheduled to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court Tuesday morning on extortion charges, according to an announcement from the Middlesex District Attorney's office.
Winter, 83, of Millbury, will be arraigned with James Melvin, 70, of Braintree, the announcement says.
According to the district attorney's office, Winter and Melvin allegedly tried to extort tens of thousands of dollars from two businessmen, making threatening statements and phone calls and leaving a threatening note at one victim's home.
The extortion allegedly took place earlier in 2012. It started when two businessmen made a loan to a lawyer, according to the district attorney's office and police reports.
Winter and Melvin allegedly elbowed their way into the middle of the loan, telling the businessmen they would each have to cough up $35,000 for making the loan without consent from unidentified people in the North End section of Boston—a reference, the businessman thought, to organized crime in that neighborhood.
At one point, the victims met with Winter and Melvin at the Sons of Italy Hall in Medford, across the street from Somerville's Trum Field. At the meeting Winter allegedly told the victims, “There’s no one in the (expletive) country that don’t know who I am … when you tell me you don’t know who I am, you’re full of (expletive). There’s nobody that don’t (expletive) know me."
"You don’t pay me … then you’re gonna have problems [with the North End]," Winter allegedly told the victims.
The district attorney's office said that state police launched an investigation into the alleged extortion and videotaped Winter and Melvin collect payments from the victims.
They were arrested on June 7.
Charges Outlined Against Former Boss of the Winter Hill Gang