BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to charges of trying to extort $10,000 from a business owner, saying it was required for protection against the New England mafia.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says 53-year-old Daniel Spooner of Mattapoisett faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in March.

Spooner pleaded guilty Friday to charges that he demanded $10,000 from a vending machine business owner, saying he was the enforcer for a member of La Cosa Nostra in Providence.

Ortiz says Spooner told the victim he or his family would be harmed if the payment was withheld, and made more threats in August after the victim gave him $1,000 instead of $10,000.

Spooner has been held without bond since Aug. 5. His attorneys could not immediately be reached Sunday.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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