Last Member of Niagara Falls, N.Y. Local Goon Squad Sentenced

Randall Butler wasn’t among the ringleaders of an extortion racket operating through Local 91 of the Laborers International Union of North America in Niagara Falls, New York. But his date with justice was inevitable all the same. On April 19, Butler was sentenced in federal court to two years and 10 months in prison for his role as an enforcer. He was the last of a dozen and a half union members and associates to be sentenced for crimes against persons and property. Butler, 40, a resident of Lockport, N.Y., pleaded guilty last April to felony extortion.

Federal prosecutors charged that Butler drove a getaway car after union members firebombed a home where nonunion members employed at an asbestos-removal project were sleeping. The attack caused more than $200,000 in property damage and injured one man. In January, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara handed down a 51-month prison term to former Local 91 President Robert Malvestuto for participating in that firebombing plus other acts of vandalism and violence. Another ex-union president, Mark Congi, had been sentenced to 15 years in prison last December for his role in leading the goon squad. Evidence suggests that the real power behind this racket was former Local 91 business manager Michael “Butch” Quarcini, who had been indicted, but died of cancer in 2003 before he could go on trial. U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn praised the dismantling of the goon squad as the result of a joint effort by the Labor Department, the FBI and various state and local agencies. (Buffalo News, 4/20/07).