On the Waterfront, Continued

Three New Jersey International Longshoreman’s Association bosses have pleaded guilty to various threats to union members to pay “tribute.”  Thomas Zambito has the story in the Star-Ledger.

New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says three former officials with the International Longshoremen’s Association union have pleaded guilty to conspiring to extort payments from members. Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger

Three former officials with the International Longshoremen’s Association union pleaded guilty today to conspiring to extort Christmastime tributes from members who worked on New Jersey’s piers, federal prosecutors say.

The three men admitted conspiring to force members of ILA Local 1235, through real or implied threats of force and violence, to pay unspecified amounts in tribute, prosecutors say.

Aulisi is the former president of Local 1235 and was retired at the time of his arrest in January 2011. Leonardis was the president of the local from 2008 through 2011 and Ruiz was a union delegate from 2007 through 2010, and is a former ILA representative.

Leonardis and Ruiz were suspended from the union following their arrests in 2011.

All three men face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at their September sentencings.

Charges are pending against eight other defendants indicted along with Aulisi, Leonardis and Ruiz. Among them are several members of the Genovese organized crime family who are accused of conspiring to collect tribute payments from workers at New Jersey ports by using their influence over corrupt union officials, prosecutors say.