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Former Winter Hill Gang Leader Arrested In Extortion Case

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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts prosecutors have announced the arrest of 83-year-old former Boston-area gang boss Howie Winter, a predecessor of James “Whitey” Bulger as head of the Winter Hill Gang in the 1960s and ’70s, on attempted extortion and conspiracy charges.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s office said Winter, of Milbury, and 70-year-old James Melvin of Braintree were arrested Thursday night. They are accused of attempting to extort $35,000 from each of two individuals who had arranged a $100,000 business loan for a third man last fall.

Prosecutors said the alleged victims began getting threatening phone calls after the borrower stopped making payments in January.

Winter and Melvin are charged with attempted extortion and conspiracy and are to be arraigned Friday in Somerville District Court. It’s not immediately determined if they have attorneys.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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