He has been stabbed and shot and, police and court records show, lived the life of a criminal since he was a teenager.
Joseph “JoJo” Burhoe was last released from prison in 2007, after serving time for the 2001 armed holdup of a Citizens Bank branch in a Shaw’s Supermarket in Medford.
Within months of his release, authorities alleged in a federal indictment this week, he went back to his old ways of threats, intimidation, and violence, this time as a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 82.
Burhoe, now 44, and living in Braintree, was one of four men accused this week in a federal racketeering indictment of extortion and mail fraud in shaking down businesses to get jobs for the four of them, for friends and for family members and in intimidating anyone who wanted to get in their way. He had been expelled from the union before his arrest.
He remains the only one of the four prosecutors are trying to keep detained pending trial. Authorities have called him a career criminal who poses not only a risk of flight, but a danger to anyone involved in the case. A hearing in federal court is slated for Monday.
“Burhoe has an extensive and serious criminal history, which cries out for detention,” prosecutors said in court records, adding that he is a “career offender in both the technical, legal sense of the term and in the common-sense meaning of the term.”
On Friday, authorities agreed to release a codefendant, James Deamicis, also known as Jimmy the Bull, after the 49-year-old’s girlfriend agreed to let him stay with her and to co-sign a $50,000 unsecured bond.
Earlier in the week, a third man, Thomas Flaherty, 49, of Braintree was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond. The alleged ring leader — John Perry, 60, of Woburn, who was Local 82’s former boss and was director of the union’s national trade show unit — was released on a $100,000 secured bond.
The four men are accused of using their clout to shake down companies doing business at the city’s two convention centers, so that they could win jobs setting up and taking down events.
The alleged crimes occurred between 2007 and 2011.
Known as the Perry Crew, the four men had earned a reputation for forming their own gang within the union, creating conflict with other members.
The infighting grew to the point that the national Teamsters Union abolished the local group, forcing Local 82 to merge into Teamsters Local 25 of Charlestown earlier this year.
Burhoe, according to court records, was the enforcer. He is accused of participating in the extortion of a fellow union member who opposed Perry in September 2007, while he was still on probation on the bank robbery conviction and less than six months after he had been released from prison.
He is also accused of intimidating a union member who filed a grievance and another who appeared as a witness in a separate court case.
On one occasion, according to authorities, he and others stationed themselves outside the entrance to a union hall to prevent certain members from voting on a contract with a major employer.
Federal officials say Burhoe’s actions are typical of his past crimes of violence, which began with a conviction for a felony at 18 years old.
He has been convicted of first-degree assault, armed robbery, and the felonious use of a firearm, related to an armed robbery in New Hampshire.
According to news reports, at the time, he shot at a convenience store clerk during a holdup.
He served a prison sentence for that crime and returned to prison several times for violating parole.
He has been shot and stabbed, left to die, on two occasions within months of each other in 1989.
Burhoe’s 14-year-old cousin, Terry Burhoe, died in a horrific 1981 stabbing.
He was also a close friend of the notorious Charlestown bank robber Arthur “Butchy” Doe Jr.
Both men were ambushed in a Charlestown home invasion and shooting in 1989. They survived, but 28-year-old Maurine Szymielewicz was killed.
“His extensive criminal history dates back to his teenage years and conclusively demonstrates the extent of his poor character and his commitment to a life of crime,” prosecutors said in court records.
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