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Teamsters' members charged with reality TV show extortion bid

By Owen Weldon     Oct 1, 2015 in Crime
Boston - On Wednesday, four members of the Teamsters union were arrested and charged with trying to extort a company filming a reality TV show in Boston last year. The company was not part of the union.
A fifth man was arrested, but a judge ordered charges against him to be dropped because he was wrongly identified in a picture.
Authorities say the men approached the company producing the reality TV show, and they demanded that it hire union members for the show. However, the production company refused, and this led to the men threatening to picket filming at two locations. The owners of the two locations ended up canceling production.
The four men facing charges are Mark Harrington, 61, of Andover, Massachusetts; John Fidler, 51, of Holbrook, Massachusetts; Daniel Redmond, 47, of Medford, Massachusetts; and Robert Cafarelli, 45, of Middleton, Massachusetts. The four also threaten to physically harm people working on the production of the show, according to prosecutors.
Top Chef is the reality show that was being filmed in Boston. The four men allegedly wanted the producers to hire union drivers, and when the Top Chef crew taped an episode at a restaurant, Teamster members chest-bumped them.
All four men pleaded not guilty to charges. Carmen Ortiz, U.S. Attorney, said the men's actions were not union organizing, but criminal extortion.
Ortiz said that throughout the course of the alleged conspiracy, the Teamsters managed to chase a legitimate business out of Boston and they harassed the crew and cast as they were setting up shop.
If convicted, each one faces up to 20 years in prison.
More about Teamsters, Teamsters union, Boston, reality tv show, Extortion
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