There was no mention of the local Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Aug. 29 when convicted Massachusetts bank robber James McCormack was hauled into federal court to face charges that he plotted to sell cocaine and, along with two friends, kidnapped and beat a former drug dealer in a bid to extort $1 million. But McCormack, while not a Teamster, has strong ties to Charlestown-based IBT Local 25, which is under investigation for allegedly extorting movie makers who film around New England.
One of McCormack’s alleged partners in a cocaine deal, listed merely as “another person” in the four-count indictment, is Philip Myers, a Charlestown crime figure and ex-Teamster-turned-government witness who has been reportedly aiding the federal probe involving Local 25 and the movie industry. Myers, a convicted bank robber and killer, was arrested on cocaine charges in Sept. 1998 on the loading dock at the Boston Herald, where he worked as a member of Local 25. Facing a lengthy prison term, Myers began cooperating with Drug Enforcement Admin and the Dep’t of Labor’s Division of Labor Racketeering, providing information on alleged criminal activity by Teamsters and gangsters.
It was Myers who told investigators that McCormack with Richard Hegarty, Jeff Buckley and others were involved in the kidnapping and beating of a former drug dealer, who was snatched from his home at gunpoint in Apr. 1998. The indictment charges McCormack, Hegarty, and Buckley with plotting to extort $1 million from James D. Carter, who was viciously beaten, blindfolded, and held for ransom. He was released with orders to come up with the money, but never did.
McCormack was allegedly involved but was never indicted in the trial of five men convicted in a string of bank robberies, including a 1994 armored car heist in Hudson, N.H., in which two guards were killed. Four of the men convicted in the case were members of Local 25 who worked on movie sets. There was testimony at the Hudson trial that McCormack was involved in bank robberies with the men. McCormack was convicted of bank robbery in 1990.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Cohen ordered McCormack and Buckley held without bail pending a hearing after Asst. U.S. Attorneys George Vien and Cherie Krigsman said they posed a danger and may flee. Hegarty is serving a five-year prison term for bank robbery.
McCormack said he didn’t have enough money to hire a lawyer, and planned to represent himself because, “I don’t trust anybody anymore. Everybody is playing the game.” McCormack’s former lawyer, Frederick Ford, was sentenced to eight years in prison last May after admitting he hired a hitman to kill McCormack and another man because he feared they’d reveal it was Ford’s idea to kidnap Carter. Luckily for McCormack, Myers introduced Ford to a purported hitman who was an undercover agent for DOL. [Boston Globe 8/30/00]