A former member of a Teamsters local union based in South Boston was sentenced Wednesday to a year in prison for conspiring with other union members and shaking down businesses.
James E. Deamicis, also known as “Jimmy the Bull,” appeared relieved after US District Judge Denise J. Casper announced the sentence.
Deamicis, 52, of Quincy, had faced the possibility of 46 to 57 months in prison under sentencing guidelines. Federal prosecutors had asked that he serve 57 months.
Casper said she was considering Deamicis’ role in the shakedowns, compared to the more extreme roles of his two codefendants, in handing out the sentence. Deamicis must also repay roughly $40,000 he fraudulently collected in unemployment benefits.
Deamicis was convicted in November of working with other members of Teamsters Local 82 to extort businesses including Pt. Lighting Systems, the Westin Copley Hotel, and House of Blues, by threatening to interrupt their business if the entities did not give jobs to union members.
Two of Deamicis’ codefendants were convicted in an earlier trial in 2014 of extortion and racketeering. The jury in that trial acquitted Deamicis on some counts and was hung on others. He was later convicted of conspiracy and extortion after a retrial.
The two codefendants, John Perry, former secretary treasurer of Local 82, and Joseph “Jo Jo” Burhoe, received prison terms of 30 months and 70 months, respectively.
A third defendant, Thomas Flaherty of Braintree, was acquitted of all charges.
Thomas J. Iovieno, Deamicis’ lawyer, had asked Casper to hand out a lenient sentence, saying his client engaged in legally protected union activity. He also said Deamicis was acquitted of more serious charges that he collaborated in a criminal enterprise with Perry and Burhoe.
Deamicis told Casper at his sentencing Wednesday that he never thought he committed a crime, and believed he was engaging in his rights to union picketing. He is appealing his conviction, and said he will prove his innocence.
“It was a proud day that I got sworn in as a Teamster,” he said. “I treated everyone professionally, treated everyone with respect, friend or foe.”