The Division of Public Safety assisted the FBI in one of the 10 arrests of leaders of the Ironworkers Local 401 union, who called themselves “the Helpful Union Guys” or “THUGS” and have allegedly used violence to try to protect union jobs.
“Our police received a tip centered on an individual down on the eastern border of the Penn Patrol Zone,” Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said. “We notified the FBI that the individual was located” and, after the arrest, “helped transport him to the charging unit for further processing,” she added.
The FBI made the arrest around the area of 34th and Spruce streets and is in charge of future litigation for this individual, as well as the other individuals arrested last Tuesday in relation to the ironworkers union.
The FBI alleges that the union members have cost contractors hundreds of thousands of dollars over at least three years through threats to protect union jobs by using crowbars, setting fires, starting riots and undertaking other actions, according to philly.com.
Prosecutors allege that in December 2012, three union members cut steel beams and set fire to a crane at a worksite, which set the project back weeks and cost more than $500,000. The indictment, according to philly.com, also alleges that members could earn spots on the union board if they were involved in worksite attacks, and leaders boasted that the union contained “strong-arm enforcers.”
Rush said that assisting in an arrest like this is not that rare. “There are times when other law enforcement agencies identify someone on a warrant. It happens numerous times over a year,” she said.
Still, the effort of DPS did not go unnoticed or ungratified. “I received a phone call from the special agent in charge of the Philadelphia FBI office thanking us,” Rush said.
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