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Six more troopers heard on wiretaps (Gretzky Gambling Investigation)
NorthJersey.com ^ | 02.11.06 | MITCHEL MADDUX

Posted on 02/11/2006 10:02:41 PM PST by Coleus

Investigators suspect that at least six New Jersey state troopers were recorded on wiretaps, calling in bets to a bookmaking ring allegedly run by a National Hockey League coach and another trooper, a source familiar with the probe said Friday.

The state police also suspended a trooper for allegedly failing to report the illegal betting ring to his superiors, a law enforcement official said. Michael Kaiser, a sergeant assigned to the Garden State Parkway, was suspended late Thursday for violating the agency's rules. He was not charged with any crimes, officials said.

State police investigators are now trying to determine the identities of troopers suspected of betting with the ring and gauging their level of involvement with the bookmaking operation, the source said. Personal gambling habits have created problems for New Jersey troopers before. Gambling was identified as a contributing factor in as many as 50 internal state police investigations of troopers who broke the agency's rules in 2005, the source said.

Some of those cases involved troopers who faced bankruptcy, mounting debts and court judgments -- as well as marital or other relationship difficulties -- linked to gambling, the source said. One such case occurred in 2004, the source said, when a loan shark walked into the Bloomfield barracks and spoke with a supervisor about a trooper who owed him money. The loan shark allegedly told the supervisor that the trooper owed him $140,000, the source said.

The trooper left the agency soon after the incident, the source said. Capt. Al Della Fave, a state police spokesman, said Friday night that he could not immediately confirm or deny any information about the Bloomfield incident because he had no access to agency files after hours. Della Fave said he did not believe gambling problems were an underlying factor in as many as 50 of the agency's internal investigations. The state police announced the existence of the bookmaking operation on Tuesday, saying it ran a sophisticated system that handled bets on collegiate and professional football and basketball.

Authorities said the gambling ring was allegedly operated by James Harney, a trooper assigned to the New Jersey Turnpike, and Rick Tocchet, an associate coach of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, the ring's alleged financier. In one 40-day period, more than 1,000 wagers, totaling more than $1.7 million, were placed by clients nationwide, officials said. Some clients allegedly placed their bets by calling Harney's cellphone while he patrolled the turnpike in his police cruiser, officials said.

David Jones, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association, said the probe did not begin with a focus on hockey players or state police. "This was never about the NHL and the New Jersey State Police," Jones said. "This is the result of a pure, unadulterated gambling investigation." Investigators recorded hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky discussing the probe with Tocchet, speculating that his wife would evade prosecution, a person with knowledge of the probe has said.

However, nothing in the conversation with Tocchet suggests that Gretzky tried to obstruct the criminal probe, which allegedly uncovered numerous sports bets placed by his wife, Janet Jones, the person said. Existence of the wiretapped phone conversation between Gretzky, who is the Coyotes' managing partner and head coach, and Tocchet was confirmed by two sources familiar with the investigation. Gretzky seemed concerned about his wife and was "commiserating" with Tocchet during the wiretapped call, the source said. The two hockey coaches allegedly speculated that investigators would never prosecute a gambling ring that involved a trooper, the source said.

State police detectives also want to interview Jones, an actress, about her alleged bets, sources said. Jones was recorded on many occasions by the wiretap, sources said. The state police investigation, however, was not focused on targeting professional hockey players, the source said. "The state police were more interested in taking out this trooper than in going after some NHL players," the source said.

Gretzky will reportedly fly to Turin, Italy, on Sunday in his capacity as the executive director of the Canadian men's hockey team. There, he plans to hold a media conference to clarify his position regarding the gambling ring, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: addictions; bookie; bookmaker; dirtycops; donutlist; donutwatch; freemasons; gambling; gretzky; hockey; janetjones; leo; mafia; nhl; njsp; organizedcrime; statetroopers; waynegretzky

1 posted on 02/11/2006 10:02:45 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Coleus

Sounds like NJ and La. are joined at the hip. Merde.


2 posted on 02/11/2006 10:18:27 PM PST by Atchafalaya (When you're there, that's the best!!)
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To: fanfan

Ping :~(


3 posted on 02/11/2006 10:21:50 PM PST by kanawa (Freaking panty wetting, weakspined bliss-ninny socialist punks)
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To: kanawa
Gretzky and wife will face no consequences ..because of WHO they are..I'd be in jail for a million years
4 posted on 02/11/2006 10:26:50 PM PST by binkdeville
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To: Coleus

I think Gretzky may end up being banned from the NHL. Just when things couldn't get any blacker for pro hockey....


5 posted on 02/11/2006 10:31:57 PM PST by MediaMole
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To: Coleus
With this NHL gambling thing, sounds like someone let the cat out of the bag and gave away next season's Soprano's plot line.
6 posted on 02/11/2006 10:39:44 PM PST by Trajan88 (www.bullittclub.com)
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To: Coleus

I think posting rules require a picture of Janet Jones on these threads.


7 posted on 02/11/2006 10:47:21 PM PST by kms61
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To: MediaMole
I think Gretzky may end up being banned from the NHL.

It would be rather ironic, wouldn't it?  One of the cleanest players ever, the one who saved hockey from oblivion, being banned for life.  Surreal.  Will he be banned from the Hall of Fame like Pete Rose?

8 posted on 02/11/2006 10:48:59 PM PST by softwarecreator (Facts are to liberals as holy water is to vampires.)
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To: kms61

I second that motion.


9 posted on 02/11/2006 10:54:30 PM PST by skeptoid (I'm both skeptic AND paranoid.)
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To: Coleus
The two hockey coaches allegedly speculated that investigators would never prosecute a gambling ring that involved a trooper, the source said.

Or so they thought. What an odd association, hockey coaches in the desert and NJ cops.

10 posted on 02/11/2006 11:00:11 PM PST by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: binkdeville

From a legal standpoint you're probably right. But it's not just because of who they are . . . When law enforcement officials bust a gambling ring like this, I think it's quite rare for the gamblers themselves to be prosecuted. Usually those who finance and organize the ring are the ones who are serious trouble.


11 posted on 02/11/2006 11:02:51 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Leave a message with the rain . . . you can find me where the wind blows.)
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To: Coleus
why is it the Gretzky scandal now?....thought for sure the * leader * was Tocchet.


oh yeh, ...cos it makes your post more appealing.
12 posted on 02/11/2006 11:21:02 PM PST by kajingawd (" happy with stone underhead, let Heaven and Earth go about their changes")
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To: Coleus
I don't understand why people who gamble on sports go to the bookies. You can open up an account on your credit card and use the off shore gambling services on the internet.

Are the winnings taxable using an off shore account? Will they send you a 1099 on gambling profits?

13 posted on 02/11/2006 11:35:37 PM PST by dancusa (Appeasement, high taxes and regulation collects in the diapers of bed wetting liberals.)
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To: dancusa
Are the winnings taxable using an off shore account?

Yup.

Will they send you a 1099 on gambling profits?

Probably not. Doesn't mean that any winnings aren't taxable.

14 posted on 02/12/2006 12:10:41 AM PST by AntiScumbag
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To: softwarecreator

I guess Tocchet will be banned from the Hall of Fame as well...no, wait...he wasn't going to be in there anyway. :^)


15 posted on 02/12/2006 2:15:53 AM PST by mkmensinger
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To: Coleus

Seems strange that Drudge has avoided the Gretzky story altogether.


16 posted on 02/12/2006 2:55:44 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: Coleus
There's illegal gambling going on in New Jersey?

State Troopers appear to be involved?

How shocking...

L

17 posted on 02/12/2006 3:00:22 AM PST by Lurker (In God I trust. Everybody else shows me their hands.)
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To: Coleus

Why is gambling a crime? Why is the government investigating this? Who gives a crap?


18 posted on 02/12/2006 3:02:53 AM PST by sangrila
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To: Coleus

A great state we got going here, eh?


19 posted on 02/12/2006 3:58:38 AM PST by jocon307 (The Silent Majority - silent no longer)
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To: Coleus
New Jersey - The state that just elected John Corzine as governor.....by 12%.....and the residents of this pathetic state always become defensive when they are the butt end of jokes....."NJ is really not that bad."
20 posted on 02/12/2006 3:59:49 AM PST by saneright
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To: saneright

Have a ball:

http://celebritypictures.duble.com/pictures/J/janet-jones-pictures/janet-jones3.htm


21 posted on 02/12/2006 4:19:49 AM PST by jshermn
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To: Lurker

I thought NJ State troopers were all 'escorts' for the syndicate.


22 posted on 02/12/2006 4:24:42 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (and miles to go before I sleep.)
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To: sangrila

'cause the state and politicians don't get their cut on illegal gambling.

Well, at least the pols don't get their cut above board.


23 posted on 02/12/2006 5:03:32 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: kanawa; GMMAC; Pikamax; Former Proud Canadian; Great Dane; Alberta's Child; headsonpikes; Ryle; ...

Canada Ping!

Please FReepmail me to get on or off this Canada ping list.


24 posted on 02/12/2006 5:46:28 AM PST by fanfan
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To: MediaMole

Is knowledge of possible illegal sports betting activity by your wife sufficient to get a hockey offical banned?


25 posted on 02/12/2006 6:19:15 AM PST by US admirer
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To: kms61
I think posting rules require a picture of Janet Jones on these threads.

Janet Jones

26 posted on 02/12/2006 10:04:59 AM PST by dread78645 (Intelligent Design. It causes people to misspeak)
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To: MediaMole

hockey wouldn't ban 99 if he were shown murdering a baby on live tv.


27 posted on 02/12/2006 10:11:18 AM PST by Minus_The_Bear
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To: mkmensinger
no, wait...he wasn't going to be in there anyway

I think Gretzkey's wife had a better chance of going into the Hall of Fame than Tocchet.

28 posted on 02/12/2006 11:29:08 AM PST by softwarecreator (Facts are to liberals as holy water is to vampires.)
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