Week in Review: Howie Winter Indicted, ACLU Looks into Police Cruiser Cameras

A look at some of the top Medford stories this week.

Police Receive a Dozen Reports of Vandalism in South Medford: A South Medford neighborhood was apparently hit by vandals overnight. Medford police received a dozen complaints of vandalism from South Medford residents Friday morning, who woke up to find their neighborhood covered in graffiti, according to the police log. Police receive reports from the following roadways: Main Street, Kilsyth Road, Henry Street, Edward Street and Dexter Street.

Ex Winter Hill Gang Boss Howie Winter Indicted on Extortion Charges: Howie Winter, former boss of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, was indicted Thursday on charges of extorting money from two men, according to an announcement from the Middlesex District Attorney's office. Winter, 83, from Millbury, and James Melvin, 70, of Braintree, were indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on charges of attempted extortion and conspiracy, according to the announcement. According to allegations against them, Winter and Millbury intervened when two businessmen made a series of loans to an attorney who then had trouble repaying the loans, the announcement says. Winter and Melvin allegedly met with one of the businessmen at the Sons of Italy in Medford

ACLU Looks to Probe License Plate-Reading Cameras: Police cruiser-mounted surveillance cameras are intended to scan license plates to detect drivers with outstanding warrants and stolen or unregistered vehicles, but if they're used for other purposes they could be violating privacy rights, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. And the ACLU is looking to find out if that's happening. The organization submitted a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Boston, requesting under the Freedom of Information Act that national law enforcement organizations turn over their records on information collected by the cameras, known as Automatic License Plate Readers. Medford has had a cruiser equipped with one of the cameras since 2009.

Man Convicted of Shining Laser at Helicoper Gets New Trial: A Medford man convicted of shining a powerful green laser in the cockpit of a state police helicopter from his apartment window was given a new trial. Prosecutors against Gerard Sasso proved he shined laser from the triple-decker at 590 Main St. inside a police helicopter's cockpit in 2007 as it escorted a tanker up the Mystic River, according to an appeals court judge, but the jury wasn't properly instructed on how to consider one of the charges against him. Sasso was awarded a new trial in a written ruling entered in federal Appeals Court by its circuit judges earlier this month.

AG: Medford Man Collected $16k in Unemployment While Working: A Medford man more than doubled his income over a six month period by collecting unemployment checks while working, according to the Attorney General's office. Antoine Warren, 27, of Medford, is charged with 26 counts of unemployment fraud and a charge of larceny over $250, according to a press release from Attorney General Martha Coakley. Warren applied for and received between December 2008 and June 2009 even though he was employed full time, according to prosecutors. During that time, he allegedly collected about $16,000 through unemployment and earned about $15,000 from his job.


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