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A former member of Operating Engineers Local 17 was sentenced to six months in prison Wednesday by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

George DeWald, 56, who had previously pleaded guilty to attempted extortion, also was given six months of home confinement as part of the government’s racketeering case against the local construction union.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce said DeWald was instrumental in Local 17’s campaign to intimidate private contractors into hiring union members, a campaign that hindered construction activity across the region.

Defense attorney Patrick J. Brown described Dewald’s criminal conduct as a “small stain” on an otherwise lawful life and said his client’s involvement was a misguided effort at supporting his union.

The case, investigated by the FBI, dates back to a 2008 grand jury indictment.