BOSTON — A Massachusetts state trooper was suspended without pay Tuesday after being charged with extortion for allegedly going into business with a bookmaker, demanding a lifetime share of the profits and then threatening to kill him.
John Analetto, 48, of Belmont, a 19-year veteran of the state police, is accused of beating and repeatedly threatening to kill the bookie, who later went to the FBI, became a confidential witness and wore a recording device.
Analetto was arrested Saturday in Belmont.
After details were made public Tuesday in an FBI affidavit, Analetto made a brief appearance in U.S. District Court. U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler ordered him held in the custody of federal marshals until Friday, when a bail hearing will be held.
Analetto did not enter a plea and did not speak during the hearing except to answer questions from Bowler. His lawyer, Daniel O’Malley, told reporters afterward that “the situation is not as it appears.”
“There is more information coming; …. it is not as it might appear at this point,” O’Malley said. He would not elaborate.
In responding to a question from Bowler, Analetto said he has been arrested before. O’Malley described the arrest as “very minor,” but would not give any specifics.
“It was a long time ago and there were no convictions,” O’Malley said.
State police spokesman David Procopio said Analetto was relieved of duty Saturday and suspended indefinitely without pay Tuesday.
State Police Superintendent Col. Marian McGovern said she and other state troopers are “disgusted” by Analetto’s alleged actions.
“Analetto’s actions as alleged in the federal complaint are beneath contempt,” McGovern said in a statement.
“They are, as alleged, the actions of a criminal and street thug. As suggested by the evidence, Analetto’s behavior exemplifies street-level organized crime, not the values, ideals, and character of a Massachusetts State Trooper.
Analetto, who is married and has two teenage children, spoke briefly to his wife in the courtroom after the hearing. His wife declined to comment as she left the courthouse.
In the FBI affidavit, Special Agent Michael Carazza said he met with the cooperating witness on Dec. 19, when the witness described his relationship with Analetto. The bookie said he had been involved in illegal gambling businesses for 17 years and had been introduced to Analetto by a mutual friend within the past year.
The bookie said Analetto initially became one of his bettors but eventually offered to lend him money after learning of his debts to loan sharks. Analetto gave the bookie $24,000 in September and October, Carazza said in the affidavit. Analetto also allegedly agreed to bring bettors to the business, and did bring in five bettors.
Analetto demanded a percentage of the gambling profits for the rest of the bookie’s life, Carazza said in the affidavit.
During a Dec. 23 meeting that was secretly filmed by the bookie, Analetto became angry about the amount of money still owed to him.
“Will I kill you? Ya, I’ll (expletive) kill you,” Analetto said, according to the FBI affidavit.
During another meeting a week later, Analetto allegedly head-butted and slapped the bookie.
Authorities also accuse Analetto of leaving a threatening phone message for a bettor who owed the business money.
“We’d appreciate if you contact the right people and start doing the right thing. Or 2012 isn’t gonna be too good for you,” Analetto said in the message, according to the affidavit.
“So Happy New Year to you and your mom and dad and family.”
Analetto faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on a charge of collection of extensions of credit by extortionate means.