A veteran State Police trooper was the one in handcuffs yesterday when he was brought in to federal court to answer to an extortion charge.
John Analetto, 48, of Belmont, was charged with extensions of credit by extortionate means.
According to a federal complaint, Analetto loaned a cooperating witness $24,000 for outstanding debts to loan sharks. The witness approached federal agents last month and told them he has been involved in illegal interstate gambling for 17 years and was recently introduced to Analetto.
Analetto allegedly loaned the money to the cooperating witness in exchange for a percentage of the gambling business. Analetto also allegedly told the witness he would refer people to the gambling business.
According to the affidavit, Analetto became angry and threatening when he learned money was still owed to him or the witness and slapped the cooperating witness.
He also allegedly threatened to sexually assault the mother of one bettor.
Some of the threatening telephone calls and interactions between the witness and Analetto were captured on video and audio recordings, according to the affidavit.
State Police said Analetto was suspended without pay.
Dan O’Malley, Analetto’s lawyer, said his client was “upset” and “troubled,” and added that the charges were not accurate.
“It’s not as it appears at first blush,” O’Malley said.
If convicted, Analetto faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
He is due back in court Friday for his detention hearing.
Authorities allege that Analetto made a threatening call to a bettor Dec. 30. They released part of the message he left:
Hi Chris, Happy New Year.
We’re calling to see if we can recoup some of our investment. … 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. So Happy New Year to you and your mom and dad and family. … Capisce. Bye.