Feds Nab 1st Guilty Plea in Buffalo Racketeering Case

Brian Perry admitted on June 9 that he participated in “numerous acts of actual and threatened violence” as part of a conspiracy by Laborers Local 91 to intimidate non-union and other union labor at numerous Buffalo construction sites.  He has agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of 13 frmr. Local 91 officials and members for racketeering.  Perry entered his guilty plea before Chief U.S. Dist. Judge Richard Arcara (W.D. N.Y., Reagan).


Perry, who stand about 6-ft.-4 and weighs nearly 300 lbs., testified that in Sept. 1998, he, Local 91 pres. Mark Congi, and others attacked 4 members of a tilesetters union installing a floor.  While some goons held the wrkrs. down, others kicked them.  According to U.S. Asst. Attny. William Hochul Jr., Perry is prepared to also testify that Local 91 militants engaged in illegal blockades at work sites, beat a truck driver in the head with a brick, and threw raw eggs and sharp metal stars at other workers.  When asked by Judge Arcara to confirm these incidents, Perry said, “Oh yeah…We were trying to get the work, trying to stop the production…I was only doing what I was told.”


The main target of the indictment, frmr. Local 91 chief Michael “Butch” Quarcini, died last yr., and there had been rumors that many, if not all, of the charges would be dropped, allowing Congi and others to return to the positions they were forced out of by the Intl. union after their May, 2002, indictment.  Perry’s plea indicates that progress is being made as fed. prosecutors prepare for a Nov. trial.


David Staba of the Niagara Falls Reporter reports, however, that Quarcini’s daughter, Cheryl Cicero, was recently awarded a $94,000 settlement for her “wrongful dismissal” from her job as Local 91’s secy.-treasurer. [Buffalo News, 6/10/04: Niagara Falls Reporter, 6/8/04]