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Local 91 enforcer sentenced to prison Butler last of 18 accused of extortion

The last of 18 members of Laborers Local 91 accused of extortion activities at a Niagara County building site over six years was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Randall Butler, 40, of Lockport, was sentenced Thursday to two years and 10 months in prison for his role as an enforcer for Laborers Local 91 in Niagara Falls. He also faces two years of supervised release following prison.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara imposed the sentence on Butler -- the last of 18 of the union's members sentenced.

Butler, who pleaded guilty last April to a felony charge of attempted extortion, apologized for his crime. Robert N. Convissar, his attorney, told the judge his client was prepared to take responsibility for his actions.

Prosecutors William J. Hochul Jr. and Brett A. Harvey said Butler drove a getaway car as Local 91 members threw firebombs into a home where non-union workers -- who had been removing asbestos during the demolition of a water-treatment plant in the Town of Niagara -- were sleeping.

On Jan. 29, Arcara imposed a prison term of four years and three months on Robert Malvestuto Jr., 40, of Niagara Falls, former Local 91 president, for participating in the firebombings and other acts of vandalism and violence against non-union workers -- causing more than $200,000 damage and injuring one man.

Mark S. Congi, 46, of Youngstown, another former Local 91 president, was sentenced on Dec. 20 by Arcara to 15 years in prison for his role as the leader and organizer of what federal prosecutors described as a "goon squad" that terrorized Niagara County work sites for years.

Congi received the longest sentence in what has been called one of the biggest labor racketeering cases ever prosecuted in Western New York.

The late Michael "Butch" Quarcini, the former Local 91 business manager, also was indicted in the case but died of cancer in 2003 before he could go to trial.

U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn said the dismantling of the union's "goon squad" was the culmination of a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the State Police, Niagara County Sheriff's Department and the Niagara Falls Police Department.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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