In a major attack on alleged waterfront corruption in sourthern ports, federal authorities yesterday charged 10 officials of the International Longshoremen's Association and a dozen shipping industry leaders with a variety of racketeering and kickback violations.
The indictments by a federal grand jury in Miami complete one phase of a 2 1/2-year-old investigation of reported payoffs by shippers to ensure labor peace.
Justice Department officials consider the inquiry especially significant because of its extensive use of undercover FBI agents to witness and make payments to union officials, and because its goal is to clean up an entire industry rather than settle for scatered indictments.
Those arrested include the presidents of two ILA locals in Miami, as well as the presidents of locals in Jacksonville, Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C. They are accused of extorting or accepting thousands of dollars in cash, and in some cases cruise ship tickets and automobile tires, over the past several years in return for contracts.
A federal grand jury in New York City is also hearing evidence gathered by investigators in ports from Norfolk north to New York. More indictments are expected within a few months, sources said yesterday.
ILA President Thomas W. Gleason reportedly is not a target of the sweeping investigation. But Anothon Scotto, head of the union's largest locak, in Brooklyn, is mentioned as a participant in some of the acts described in the racketeering conspiracy charges.
About a dozen other ILA officials have been indicted in recent months on charges such as stealing from local union treasuries by double billing for expenses.
An ILA spokesman in New York said yesterday that the union would have no immediate comment on the charges because its officials had not yet seen the 127-page indictment.
The 125,000 member ILA has had a history of corruption charges dating back at least to 1948 when New York Sun reporter Malcolm Johnson exposed gangsterism on the New York docks and won the Pulitzer Prize. His series became the basis for the award-winning Marlon Brando film, "On the Waterfront."
Justice Department sources said yesterday that the latest massive attempt to police the waterfront was triggered in mid-1975 when a Miami shipping agent, Joseph Teitebaum, was implicated in a murder plot and agreed to tell the FBI about payoffs to union officials.
A short time later, FBI agent Robert Cassidy began working in Teitebaum's office, posing as a business associate. Over the next several months Cassidy and at least two other FBI agents working undercover witnessed and at times personally made payments to union officials, the sources said.
According to the indictment, Cassidy made the first of several payments to William Boyle, an ILA international vice president, in Miami on Jan. 31, 1976.
Boyle, secretary treasurer of ILA Local 1922 in Miami, is charged in 36 counts of the indictment, including charges of racketeering, extortion, accepting kickbacks and filing false income tax returns. He is also charged with obstructing justice by threatening two Savannah, Ga., shipping executives about their appearance before a federal grand jury.
The undercover investigation was first publicized early last year when federal prosecutors issued more than 350 subpoenas for union and shipping company officials and their records.
George Barone, 54, another ILA international vice president and president of Local 1922 in Miami, was named in 25 counts of the indictment, including charges of racketeering, extortion, filing false income tax returns and violating labor laws.
Other top union officials charged included Robert Bateman, 56, president of the Charleston, S.C., local; Landon L. Williams, 41, president of the Jacksonville local; Cleveland Turner, President of another Miami local; Isom Clemon, who was president of the Mobile, Ala., local and already had been indicted on other charges, and Elizah (Elijah) Jackson, 49, president of the Savannah local.
Fred R. Field Jr., ILA's general organizer, also was indicted. He already has been convicted of extorting $124,000 from the United Brands Co.
Shipping company executives were indicted too, investigators said yestereday, in cases where the evidence showed they were willing participants in the payoff schemes.
After the wave of subpoenas early last year, Justice Department officials decided to try to build a series of cases rather than seek scattered individual indictments, sources said.
A team of FBI accountants computerized the union local business records to simplify the search for possible double billing on expense accounts, and a variety of court-approved wiretape backed up the work of the undercover agents, according to sources.
The first series of indictments was delayed for months because of legal fights over documents - including those of an Israeli shipping firms - and because a strike by the ILA last fall slowed the allegedly illegal activities, investigators said.