2 plead not guilty in Mass. extortion attempt case
BOSTON—The 83-year-old former head of a Boston area gang and a codefendant have pleaded not guilty to attempted extortion and conspiracy charges and held on $25,000 bail.
Howie Winter and 70-year-old James Melvin were arraigned Friday in Somerville District Court.
Winter is a predecessor of James "Whitey" Bulger as head of the Winter Hill Gang in the 1960s and `70s.
Their lawyers say they expect to make bail. If released, they will be confined to their homes with GPS monitoring.
Prosecutors sought $100,000 bail each.
They are accused of attempting to extort $35,000 each from each from two men who had arranged a $100,000 loan for a third man.
Their attorneys said their clients were actually trying to help a lawyer who was being extorted by the alleged victims in the case.