Two members of Iron
Workers Local 395, headquartered in Portage, have been indicted in federal
court on three counts of labor-related extortion offenses.
Williamson, 67, of Schererville, and Jeffrey R. Veach, 55, of Portage, were
arrested on Thursday and each charged with one count of Hobbs Act extortion
conspiracy and two counts of Attempted Hobbs Act extortion.
Veach had their initial court appearances and arraignment before U.S.
Magistrate Judge John E. Martin for the Northern District of Indiana and
were released on $20,000 unsecured bond.
“According to the
indictment, Williamson and Veach used threats of violence and actual
violence against non-union ironworkers in the course of their extortion
plot,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “The defendants allegedly sought to
extort a labor contract from ‘John Doe No. 1,’ who owned a steelworking
company, and a business contract from ‘John Doe No. 2,’ who owned a
The indictment was
announced in Washington D.C., by Assistant Attorney General Brian
Benczkowski for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney
Thomas L. Kirsch II for the Northern District of Indiana; Special Agent in
Charge James Vanderberg of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector
General’s Chicago Regional Office; and Special Agent in Charge Grant
Mendenhall of the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office.
The case is being
investigated by the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General and the
FBI with the assistance of the Dyer Indiana Police Department.