W. Islip man charged with extortion

A Long Island man belonging to a motorcycle gang affiliated with the Hell's Angels was charged Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn with participating in a mob-connected extortion conspiracy.

Peter Kanakis, 47, of West Islip, a member of the Demon Knights motorcycle club, helped collect on loan-sharking debts owed to Gambino associate James Ferrara, 69, of Brooklyn, and Westies street gang member Daniel Hanley, 47, of Cliffside Park, N.J., authorities said.

Occupants of vehicles registered to Kanakis or his wife allegedly threatened one unnamed victim with brass knuckles and a baseball bat if he didn't make payments to Ferrara, and later fired a shot at the victim as he got into his car, brandishing a gun when the victim tried to follow them, according to government filings.

Officials identified the Demon Knights as a subchapter of the Hell's Angels.

"With alleged involvement of the Gambinos, Westies, and Hell's Angels, this case hit the trifecta of loan-sharking and extortion," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.

Ferrara, Kanakis and Hanley pleaded not guilty in a brief court appearance Tuesday. They were detained without bail.

Kanakis faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on each of the four counts. Hanley and Ferrara were each indicted on six counts and face a maximum of 120 years.

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