Former Winter Hill Gang Boss, Howie Winter, Indicted on Extortion Charges

Howie Winter and James Melvin allegedly tried to extort $35,000 from businessmen who made a loan to an attorney.

Howie Winter, former boss of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, was indicted Thursday on charges of extorting money from two men, according to an announcement from the Middlesex District Attorney's office. 

Winter, 83, from Millbury, and James Melvin, 70, of Braintree, were indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on charges of attempted extortion and conspiracy, according to the announcement.

According to allegations against them, Winter and Millbury intervened when two businessmen made a series of loans to an attorney who then had trouble repaying the loans, the announcement says.

Winter and Melvin allegedly met with one of the businessmen at the Sons of Italy in Medford, on Broadway, just across the street from Somerville's Trum Field and near Winter Hill.

The former Winter Hill Gang boss allegedly told the businessman that he and his colleague would have to pay $35,000 for making a loan without permission from "unidentified people in the North End section of Boston," a reference, the victim thought, to organized crime in that neighborhood, according to the DA's announcement.

Winter and Melvin allegedly made threatening phone calls and left a threatening note at one of the victim's homes.

State police investigators allerted to the alleged extortion made audio and video recordings of the victims making cash payments to Winter and Melvin, the DA's office said.

Winter and Melvin were arrested on June 7 and arraigned in Somerville District Court on June 8.

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