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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Movie Theater Fires

    CHICAGO (AP) - Seven union members and two aspiring members have
    been charged with a wave of fires and violence at movie theaters in
    10 states, including Wisconsin, as part of Chicago-area contract
    disputes, federal officials said Friday.
    The crimes took place from New York to Texas, and fires were
    started with moviegoers in the theaters, requiring mass evacuations
    and causing some injuries, according a 14-count indictment unsealed
    by prosecutors.
    The multistate wave of arsons and violence took place in 1998
    and 1999 and was aimed at pressuring theater chains into
    concessions on Chicago-area contracts, U.S. Attorney Patrick J.
    Fitzgerald said.
    He said covers of compact discs made by the rock group Chicago
    were left behind at the scene of some out-of-town fires "just so
    the notion of the city of Chicago would be planted in the minds of
    the theater owners."
    "Organized labor has no business in engaging in organized
    arson," Fitzgerald said.
    Four defendants - including the business manager of
    Chicago-based Local 110 of the movie projectionists union - were
    arrested early Friday by federal agents, prosecutors announced.
    A woman who answered the phone at Local 110 in Chicago said
    there was no one on hand to respond to questions about the charges.
    Seven of the incidents of arson and violence occurred in
    Illinois, officials said. Others happened in Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
    Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.
    The incidents outlined in the indictment occurred at theaters
    owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. of Kansas City, Cinemark U.S.A.
    Inc. of Plano, Texas, and Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp. of New
    York.
    In two Illinois cases theater managers were beaten - with a pipe
    in one case and with a baseball bat in another. Fires were caused
    in 15 instances, mainly by spontaneous combustion in bags or cups
    filled with chlorine and brake fluid, prosecutors said. They said
    in other instances the combination caused smoke but not fire.
    The defendants were described by prosecutors as members or
    prospective members of Motion Picture Projectionists, Operators and
    Video Technician Local 110 of the International Alliance of
    Theatrical Stage Employees of the United States and Canada.
    The local has an image, acquired decades ago, of corruption and
    alleged mob links. In the early 1980s, the Chicago Crime Commission
    said at least 24 relatives of "reputed hoodlums" held ghost jobs
    with the union.
    According to the indictment, the defendants traveled from
    Chicago to the sites of the alleged crimes. The fires caused smoke
    and flame damage in some instances, according to the indictment.
    Those charged were identified as Albin C. Brenkus, 48, of
    Willowbrook, business manager of the local; Carl A. Covelli Jr.,
    48, of Westchester; Kent B. Dickinson, 52, of Bonfield; Keith J.
    Dutton, 48, of Chicago; Peter C. Lipa, 48, of Wonder Lake; Peter R.
    Macari, 41, of Plainfield; Joseph L. Marjan, 29, of Riverdale;
    Michael A. Rossi, 44, of Ingleside; and Gregory J. Tortorello of
    Fort Stewart, Ga.
    Prosecutors said all were Local 110 members except Macari and
    Rossi, who were promised membership as a reward for the August 1999
    baseball-bat beating of a suburban Chicago theater manager.
    Both are currently serving state prison sentences in connection
    with the beating. Police identified them through DNA found on
    cigarette butts they dropped at the scene of the attack while
    waiting for the victim.
    Brenkus was also charged with obstruction of justice. He
    allegedly told Marjan that if subpoenaed by a grand jury he should
    say "he don't know nobody" and "don't know nothing."
    Brenkus, Covelli, Dutton and Lipa appeared Friday afternoon
    before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney I. Schenkier. He ordered them
    held in custody pending a Monday bond hearing. Assistant U.S.
    Attorneys Sergio E. Acosta and Mark J. Vogel said the four
    represented a danger to the community, based on the alleged crimes
    of violence, and should not be freed on bond.
    Brenkus attorney Robert J. Clarke left the courthouse saying,
    "It's only an indictment - it's just an allegation."
    Dutton attorney Vincent J. Pagano said the four years it took to
    investigate showed a weakness existed somewhere in the government's
    case.
    "It's going to be difficult for the government to prove," he
    said.
    According to the indictment, incidents took place at theaters in
    the Illinois communities of Warrenville, South Barrington, Chicago,
    Streamwood, North Aurora, Joliet and Melrose Park.
    It said others took place in Indianapolis; Beavercreek, Ohio;
    New York; Seacaucus, N.J.; North Canton, Ohio; Lexington, Ky.;
    Plano, Texas; Dallas; Mishawaka, Ind.; Kenosha, Wis.; Ames, Iowa;
    and Merriam, Kan.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post

    CHICAGO (AP) - A federal judge set bond Monday for five members
    of a movie projectionists union charged with trying to settle labor
    disputes by arson and assaults at theaters in 10 states.
    U.S. District Judge Sidney Schenkier set bond at $100,000 for
    Albin C. Brenkus, 60, business manager of Chicago-based Local 110,
    and Carl A. Covelli, Jr., 48.
    Bond was set at $50,000 for union members Keith J. Dutton, 48,
    Peter C. Lipa, 48, and Gregory J. Tortorello.
    It was Tortorello's first court appearance Monday. The others
    were charged in court Friday, shortly after their arrests.
    Federal prosecutors say the crimes were intended to frighten
    officials at three theater chains into giving in during contract
    negotiations. In two cases, theater managers were beaten - one with
    a pipe, another with a bat.
    Attorneys for the five defendants did not comment after a court
    hearing.
    A total of seven union members and two associates have been
    charged. The associates, Peter Macari and Michael Rossi, are
    serving state prison sentences in the August 1999 baseball-bat
    beating of a suburban Chicago theater manager.
    The remaining defendants will be arraigned Thursday.
    According to prosecutors, the violence occurred at theaters
    owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark U.S.A. and Loews Cineplex
    Entertainment in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, New
    Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.
    The Motion Picture Projectionists, Operators and Video
    Technician Local 110 of the International Alliance of Theatrical
    Stage Employees of the United States and Canada has an image,
    acquired decades ago, of corruption and alleged mob links. In the
    early 1980s, the Chicago Crime Commission said at least 24
    relatives of reputed hoodlums held ghost jobs with the union.

    APTV 11-10-03 2304EST
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  3. #3
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post

    CHICAGO (AP) - Seven members of Chicago's motion picture
    projectionists union pleaded innocent Thursday to charges that they
    tried to settle labor disputes with three theater chains by setting
    fires in movie houses in 10 states across the country.
    U.S. District Judge Suzanne B. Conlon told Albin C. Brenkus, 60,
    of suburban Willowbrook, business manager of movie projectionists
    Local 110, and six other members of the union to be ready for trial
    on the charges March 1.
    Two more defendants in the case who were aspiring members of the
    local and now are serving state prison terms in connection with the
    August 1999 baseball bat beating of a Melrose Park theater manager
    are to appear before Conlon for arraignment later.
    Prosecutors say the nine men traveled from Chicago to other
    states to set off smoke bombs that often burst into flames in
    theaters, sending moviegoers running in panic for the exits. In
    some cases, album covers from compact discs made by the pop group
    Chicago were left at the theaters.
    The idea was to make sure the theater chains were aware that the
    devices were being set off to underscore the contract demands of
    the Chicago projectionists union, prosecutors say.
    The fires occurred in theaters owned by AMC Entertainment,
    Cinemark U.S.A. and Loews Cineplex Entertainment in Illinois,
    Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas
    and Wisconsin, according to the indictment.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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