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2/12/06 5:40 PM
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Edited: 12-Feb-06
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Gambling underworld a roll of the dice for athletes

& T.J. QUINN in Turin, Italy

FEB 12, 2006

A good gambler should have been able to figure these odds: A celebrity as big as Mrs. Wayne Gretzky betting large amounts with illegal bookies has at least an even-money chance of being embarassed.
"For somebody who's high-level or very well-known, to me it's just remarkably dumb," says Dave Cokin, a professional gambler and a Las Vegas sports talk show host. "Especially in New Jersey. They always bust some big bookmaking ring right around the Super Bowl. Can't the Gretzkys afford a computer? They have this offshore sports betting thing now - looks like it's here to stay. What are they thinking?"

But Janet Jones is not a good gambler, apparently. When she decided to bet on sporting events - she says she did not place them for her husband - she went to the recently exposed betting ring run by Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet that also involves two New Jersey state troopers. Her husband, long an untouchable god in his sport and his country, has been forced to declare his innocence just as he steps into the international spotlight of the Olympic Games.

After downplaying his knowledge of the scandal, the Newark Star-Ledger reported he was caught on tape discussing his wife's betting with Tocchet.

All of this agony for the Gretzkys and the NHL might have been avoided had Janet Jones and the unnamed NHL players so far implicated placed their bets via a laptop or a legal casino sportsbook instead of a criminal enterprise. The issue with gambling on any sport isn't just the wagering itself, Cokin and several law enforcement officials say, but its proximity to people who might damage the sport.

"Hockey would be incredibly easy to fix," says a recently retired FBI agent who worked organized crime for most of his career. "I'd have to think it's the easiest sport there is for that. Think how many times a guy puts a shot into the stands when he's shooting on goal. Nothing looks fishy about it."

That said, the former FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says he has never heard of an NHL game being fixed. More likely, he says, if an athlete were compromised, it would be in a far more insidious way.

"They want access," the agent says of bookies. "They want to know about injuries and everything else when they set that number (the betting line), because that's how they make their money."

If an athlete got in deep enough, experts say, he or she could be blackmailed into doing the unthinkable, although Cokin says it's hard to imagine any celebrity or athlete having to throw a game in the modern era.

"Now, I'd say it's next to impossible. They make so much money," he says. "You've got to be the world's worst bettor to get in that much trouble that you have to sell your soul to get even."

Cokin agrees that it's more likely an athlete or someone close to an athlete who loses a lot of money would be pressed for inside information. The real problem, he says, is the pervasiveness of illegal gambling. Cokin is an ardent advocate of legalizing sports gambling, comparing the current scenario to Prohibition.

"It becomes almost impossible to fix a game if it's all done above board because everything's monitored," Cokin says of legalized gambling. "People are going to bet no matter what."

Placing a bet in New Jersey is legal, as long as no one is profiting from the wager. If someone bets $100 with a friend, no law has been broken. If they use a third party, however, who takes a piece of that, then the third party is an illegal bookmaker. Janet Jones and the six players have not been accused of breaking the law, only Tocchet and State Trooper James Harney (the second trooper, Sgt. Michael Kaiser, was reportedly suspended because he knew about the ring but did nothing) face charges so far.

While the criminal investigation continues, the NHL has started its own probe, hiring former U.S. Attorney Robert J. Cleary, the lead prosecutor on the Unabomber case and now a partner at Proskauer Rose in New York.

"The one assurance I've been able to give (comissioner Gary Bettman) is that we have seen absolutely no evidence and we have absolutely no other information to suggest there was betting on hockey or that the integrity of the game was compromised in any way," Cleary told AP yesterday.

Hockey hasn't had a gambling scandal since 1948, when commissioner Clarence Campbell handed lifetime suspensions to the Rangers' Billy Taylor and the Bruins' Don Gallinger, although that did not come close to capturing the public's imagination like the 1919 Black Sox scandal or the seemingly never-ending Pete Rose saga.

The NHL might not be as attuned to the issue as baseball, but hockey players say they know the rules.

"As players, we've got to accept some of the responsibility of making our own decisions," Devils forward John Madden said. "I think (the league does) plenty."

Each season, Bettman's office dispatches security personnel to speak to every club. The visits feature different themes - finances, credit card fraud, "anything that's not good for you," one Devil says - but they also cover gambling. The league has official rules governing gambling, but, as is often pointed out, there's no specific wording that forbids betting on sports other than hockey.

There is an indirect mention of gambling in the standard player's contract, and the commissioner has the power to discipline any NHL player for "conduct detrimental to the league or the game of hockey."

NCAA Tournament pools are as common in the NHL as they are in most any office or any sport, however. There are no rules condemning "game-winning goal" pools, as players in years past were known to take part in when a new teammate would face his former team. And the rules certainly don't say anything about what a player's wife may or may not do.

"We're not kids," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur says. "At least we're informed of the possibilities."


2/12/06 5:41 PM
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Edited: 12-Feb-06
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The players admit that while scandals involving game-fixing seem farfetched to them, the prospect of becoming linked to shady characters is not. In fact, Brodeur says, some of the people players really have to watch out for are the ones who have money.

"They're able to get close to you to a certain extent because they're able to get to dinners and they're able to get to places that you're able to get to," he says. "So sometimes you build a relationship, and sometimes it's hard to say no. You get in a situation, and it's not easy. A guy is like, 'You want to play golf? You want to play golf?' And the next thing you know, you're associated with the guy.

"So when we go through these security meetings, these are the things they tell you. You've got to try to say no. You've got to avoid it as much as you can. Sometimes it's hard to do."

But as the Tocchet scandal suggests, some players either can't resist or don't want to. "Your acquaintances are the most important thing," Brodeur says. "If you're surrounded with good people, the odds are you're going to be okay. It's on a personal level - who you want to be with, what type of life you want to live. If you want to risk it, maybe nothing's going to happen to you.

"Now these guys," he says, referring to those involved in the Tocchet case, "are paying the price."

You wanna bet?

A look at the betting policy of the four major sports plus the PGA & Nascar:



Any Player who, directly or indirectly, wagers money or anything of value on the outcome of any game played by a team in the league operated by the Association shall, on being charged with such wagering, be given an opportunity to answer such charges after due notice, and the decision of the Commissioner shall be final, binding and conclusive and unappealable. The penalty for such offense shall be within the absolute and sole discretion of the Commissioner and may include a fine, suspension, expulsion and/or perpetual disqualification from further association with the Association or any of its members.


Players can be suspended and/or fined for:

1. Accepting a bribe or agreeing to throw or fix a game or illegally influence its outcome.

2. Failing to promptly report any bribe offer or any attempt to throw or fix a game or to illegally influence its outcome.

3. Betting on any NFL game.

4. Associating with gamblers or with gambling activities in a manner tending to bring discredit to the NFL.



(d) BETTING ON BALL GAMES. Any player, umpire, or club official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform shall be declared ineligible for one year. Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.


From Collective Bargaining Agreement

Exhibit 14: Form of Standard Club Rules

2. Gambling on any National Hockey League game is prohibited.


Section VI-B of Player Handbook:

A player shall not do any of the following:

1. Fail to give his best efforts in competition.

2. Gamble or play cards on the premises where a PGA Tour cosponsored or coordinated tournament is being played.

3. Associate with or have dealings with persons whose activities, including gambling, might reflect adversely upon the integrity of the game of golf.

4. Bet money or anything of value on a golf tournament or similar event, whether or not the player is in such competition.


Gambling isn't specifically prohibited by NASCAR, but officials can punish drivers for "conduct detrimental" to racing.

All bets are off when it comes to the NFL

2/15/06 1:53 AM
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Edited: 15-Feb-06
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Lawyer: NHL gamble ring not tied to mafia

Associated Press

A New Jersey-based gambling ring linked to Wayne Gretzky had no ties to organized crime, a defense lawyer involved in the case said Tuesday, contradicting the claims of state officials.

Officials have said investigators are looking into how deep mob involvement might have been in the sports-betting ring allegedly run by former hockey star Rick Tocchet - currently Gretzky's top assistant with the Phoenix Coyotes - and two other men.

"If they come up with a Bruno-Scarfo crime family connection, I'll pay their salaries for a year," said Charles A. Peruto Jr., the lawyer for James Ulmer, who is charged with promoting gambling, money laundering and conspiracy.

Peruto's comments referred to the La Casa Nostra family that has long dominated organized crime in the Philadelphia area.

"Lawyers' comments don't concern us," said New Jersey State Police Capt. Al Della Fave. "We have significant evidence with regard to this investigation. As time passes, we're sure that everyone's questions will be answered."

State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes has said the gambling ring - like many illegal sports books - had ties to the mob. So far, no organized crime-related charges have been filed in the case.

Ulmer, New Jersey state trooper James Harney and Tocchet, on leave from the Coyotes, were charged last week with running a five-year-old sports-betting ring that officials say handled $1.7 million worth of wagers over a six-week period from late December until Feb. 5, the day of the Super Bowl.

The bettors included Gretzky's wife, Janet Jones, according to sources who have spoken on condition of anonymity, and also included several NHL players, officials have said.

Neither Gretzky, the coach and part-owner of the Coyotes, Jones, nor any other hockey player aside from Tocchet has been charged. Sources have told the AP that they are not the center of the investigation.

Robert Cleary, a lawyer hired by the NHL to investigate hockey players' involvement, has said it appears there were no wagers on hockey and that no games were fixed.

Gretzky himself was caught on a wiretap last Monday talking with Tocchet about how to hide his wife's involvement, people with knowledge of the investigation have told The Associated Press.

Harney, Tocchet and Ulmer are due in Superior Court in Mount Holly on Feb. 21.
2/15/06 1:58 AM
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Edited: 15-Feb-06
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Trooper charged in betting ring downplays allegations


As questions swirl around an alleged sports gambling ring that has touched an NHL team's front office and hockey's first family, a New Jersey state trooper charged in the million-dollar bookmaking operation downplayed the allegations Monday night.

"I mean eventually everything is going to come out," James Harney told ESPN.com. "It is not what they say it is, I'll tell you that."

Law enforcement officials have said they launched the gambling probe, dubbed "Operation Slap Shot," in October after the New Jersey State Police Organized Crime Bureau uncovered information indicating Harney, an eight-year state police veteran, was a partner in a bookmaking ring. Harney, Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet and James Ulmer, described by investigators as a "sitter" who funneled wagers to Harney, all face charges of promoting gambling, money laundering and conspiracy.

Capt. Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the New Jersey State Police, told ESPN.com that Harney worked the operation from his patrol car. "Well, obviously [with] Harney that is one of the big issues we have, is that he was doing it while on duty," Fave said.

Reached at his home in Marlton, N.J., Harney, 40, refused to comment on the specifics of the alleged scheme, but called the unfolding scandal a "circus." Harney, who also faces an official misconduct charge, was suspended by the state police last week.

"I'm really just taking time to worry about our two small children," Harney added. "They're young. I just really need to shield them from all this circus."

Tocchet's attorney, Kevin Marino, lashed out at authorities Monday for allegedly being the source of a story that cast hockey icon Wayne Gretzky in a favorable light. According to an unnamed source quoted by The Associated Press, Gretzky was heard on a wiretap asking Tocchet how Gretzky's wife, Janet Jones Gretzky, could avoid being named as a participant in the ring.

A person with knowledge of the investigation confirmed to AP that the wiretap was recorded last Monday, the day Gretzky's lawyer said New Jersey detectives showed up at Gretzky's home looking to speak to his wife.

Asked to confirm that this was the case, Marino told ESPN.com, "Absolutely not. And anybody that knows that information and confirms it for you is committing a crime. There is a statute that makes it a crime of the third degree, to reveal wire tape ... so anybody that has put that out in the public is violating the law. And there is only one place it could have come from."

Harney, authorities claim, was a bartender at Philly Legends in the South Philadelphia Holiday Inn when he first met Tocchet, who was then playing for the Flyers. The bar, located a few blocks from the city's sports complex, was then owned by Ron Jaworski, a former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who for years has been an NFL analyst for ESPN.

Jaworski said Monday that GF Management, a local company, hired and fired staff, adding that he couldn't recall having met Harney. But Jaworski said he knows Tocchet, a popular Flyer at the time, and was stunned to hear of the gambling allegations.

"[Tocchet] was a terrific, phenomenal guy," Jaworski said. "Very active guy. Tremendous personality. Every time I saw him he was ultimately respectful -- at golf outings, fundraisers. Occasionally I would see him at breakfast. He didn't live too far from me. A class act. I'm shocked to hear the allegations."

2/15/06 2:17 PM
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Edited: 15-Feb-06
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The cop, the jock, the bets

"Jimmy Dimples" had a dream - to become a state trooper. His wish came true, but now he finds himself in the centre of a gambling probe implicating NHL players

Newark Star-Ledger

"Jimmy Dimples," they called him at the south Philadelphia watering hole. At least the women did. Bartender James Harney had a bodybuilder's physique, a model's face, designer clothes and a goal.

He wanted to be a New Jersey state trooper.

Richard Tocchet had a nickname, too. To legions of pro hockey fans and players around the continent, he was simply "Toc," a fitting one-syllable moniker for an athlete known for his endurance and grit.

At first glance, the two men shared little in common. But the sports star and the cop crossed paths at least five years ago, when their careers were heading in different directions.

Last week, their fates became irrevocably entwined.

The state police accused Harney and Tocchet of being partners in a sports betting ring that took millions of dollars worth of wagers from professional athletes and celebrities. They said the ring had ties to organized crime figures in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. And they said the gamblers included National Hockey League players and the wife of its most revered star, Wayne Gretzky.

"Nobody bet on their own games," state police Superintendent Rick Fuentes said in announcing the charges.

But investigators were sparse with other details, saying they were still identifying and questioning bettors. The probe took investigators to at least four states and showed signs it could blossom into the largest gambling scandal to hit professional sports in years.

The NHL hired a former federal prosecutor to conduct an internal probe. Gretzky, now the coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, denied any knowledge of the gambling ring.

Gretzky's denial was supported by new information yesterday that a police wiretap of him discussing the case with Tocchet and asking how his wife's involvement could be covered up was made last Monday, after the investigation came to light.

By week's end, Harney, Tocchet and the third defendant in the case, James Ulmer, hired attorneys who came out swinging. They portrayed the operation as harmless wagers among friends.

Police were pursuing the theory that Tocchet financed the operation, recruited the gamblers among wealthy athletes and made his own bets. Ulmer is believed to have collected and funnelled the cash to Harney, and the trooper allegedly placed the bets with an established bookie.

In one six-week span, police said, the ring processed more than 1,000 wagers worth a total of $1.7 million.

The state police dubbed their case "Operation Slap Shot," although few would argue it needed a slick nickname to get attention. It already had all the ingredients necessary for a media frenzy.

Millionaire athletes in a league struggling to rebound. The beautiful wife of hockey's greatest player allegedly throwing down five-figure bets like a grandmother dropping change into the nickel slots. A bar tender-turned-trooper-turned-Rolex-wearing-bookie. And, of course, the mob.

By the time the ring allegedly started, Harney appeared to be living out his dream. He had joined the state police in 1997, when he was 32, and his first posting was in Bridgeton, deep in south Jersey.

Four years later he won a transfer to the Moorestown barracks, a 15-minute drive from the Marlton, N.J. home where he lived with his wife.

Court records show Tocchet lived in Voorhees, N.J., where the Philadelphia Flyers have their practice facility.

Philadelphia was the club that drafted him in 1983 and the team where he built his reputation as a winger who could score as easily as drop his gloves. Tocchet ranks among only four NHL players to record 300 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes in their careers.

But the game he had played so well for so long was starting to slip away by the time Tocchet returned to Philadelphia, after stints with five other teams, in 2000. He spent much of the next season battling injuries. It was his longest absence from the ice in his career. He retired the following year at 38 and returned to Arizona to work with his friend Gretzky.

When he met Harney is unclear, though State Police have said their friendship started at Legends, a well-known south Philadelphia sports bar. The bar, which has since been renamed, sits in a Holiday Inn just outside the gates of the sprawling stadium complex where the city's four professional sports teams play.

Harney worked there for about three years in the mid-1990s, when Legends was a convenient and regular destination for Philly athletes. He was so popular, especially among the women, that his co workers gave him a nickname - "Jimmy Dimples."

"He was handsome and had this great personality," said Trish Fortuna, a bartender who worked with Harney. "When he passed the state trooper's test, we were really excited for him. That's all he had talked about for years."

Legends became legendary for attracting more than just athletes. Law-enforcement sources say it was also a regular hangout for members of the Philadelphia-south Jersey organized crime family and its then-underboss, Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino. That wasn't a surprise to organized-crime investigators. Most wiseguys like celebrities, and like to be seen with them, they say. And in the age of The Sopranos, the feeling is often reciprocal. Because of its clientele, Legends also drew its share of beautiful women.

The state police have not identified which mobsters were involved or how the mob fits into the case, except to say Tocchet and Harney oversaw "a highly organized sports betting system" and with "alleged ties to the Bruno-Scarfo crime family of La Costra Nostra."

2/15/06 2:17 PM
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Edited: 15-Feb-06
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But few illegal gambling operations can grow too large without drawing the scrutiny of organized-crime families, which tend to believe they have an unchallenged monopoly on sports betting.

Five years ago, Merlino and his associates were convicted of extorting payments from a betting ring started by a group of college students.

"Why pay the mob?" a prosecutor asked one of the operators at trial.

"Because you had to in order to do business," the witness replied.

How much Tocchet and Harney could have earned is unclear.

In a typical gambling operation, the betting agents charge a commission as high as 10 per cent of the bet, and keep up to 25 per cent of any losses, according to law-enforcement officials who have investigated such rings. The rest of the money goes back into the operations or to the ringleaders.

Police say Harney earned only $75,000 a year as a trooper, but amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars in bank accounts, plus two homes, a BMW and a Lincoln Navigator, and Rolex watches worth $250,000. They moved to seize his properties. The criminal complaints say the men processed 594 bets worth $1 million between Dec. 29, 2005 and Jan. 31. They allegedly handled another $700,000 worth of bets in the five days before Super Bowl XL, a frenzied week for gamblers.

A chunk of those allegedly came from the spouse of the NHL's greatest player. Law enforcement sources say Janet Jones, Gretzky's wife, was a regular gambler and placed $75,000 worth of bets on last Sunday's Super Bowl, including a winning bet on the coin toss.

Gretzky initially waffled on his knowledge of the operation. But by Thursday, after reports the wire taps caught him and Tocchet discussing his wife's gambling with the ring, he insisted he never placed a bet. Jones followed with her own press release, claiming she never placed wagers for Gretzky.

The wiretaps in the ongoing investigation also turned up several state troopers speaking to Harney, but two people close to the investigation say the conversations were not about gambling.

Tocchet was served with a summons at his home in Arizona. His neighbour there is Jeremy Roenick, another former Flyer, now with the Los Angeles Kings, who sources say placed bets through the ring. Investigators say players for the Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild are also involved.

None of the alleged bettors has been charged. Police said the gamblers might not have broken any laws, unless, for instance, they failed to declare their winnings as income. The focus of the investigation, law-enforcement sources say, is on the operators.

Tocchet, Harney and Ulmer are scheduled to appear Feb. 21 at an arraignment in Superior Court in Burlington County, N.J. Each has been charged with conspiracy, promoting gambling and money-laundering. Harney faces an additional charge of official misconduct.

Harney's attorney, Craig Mitnick, issued a statement saying the trooper has no intention of resigning. "The allegations against him will be scrutinized and defended vigorously," Mitnick said.

Ulmer's attorney, A. Charles Peruto Jr., dismissed the accusations as "a bunch of friends betting with each other," although in a crowd where most of the friends are millionaires.

"If you take out the names of Gretzky and Tocchet, it's a run- of-the-mill, five-cent case where you go pay your fine and you leave," he said.

Despite his career, a wife and children, Harney - previously known as Jimmy Dimples - still returned from time to time to the sports bar where he once worked, his former colleagues said. As recently as a few months ago, Harney brought his twin daughters to the bar.

"If I saw him right now, I'd give him a big kiss and wish him all the luck in the world," Fortuna said. "And then I'd tell him, `I hope you didn't do the things they're saying you did. Because if you did, you blew it big time."'
2/17/06 8:38 PM
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Edited: 17-Feb-06
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In hockey probe, loose lips forced hasty arrests

Friday, February 17, 2006
Star-Ledger Staff
An FBI agent inadvertently alerted the National Hockey League to a New Jersey probe into illegal sports betting by its players, forcing State Police to arrest their targets a day earlier than they planned, according to law enforcement sources.

The stumble might have cost investigators the element of surprise as they prepared to confront the alleged ringleaders of the multimillion-dollar gambling operation, Phoenix Coyotes associate coach Rick Tocchet and state trooper James Harney.

A wiretap on Tocchet's phone picked up a league official discussing the investigation with him and telling him his phones had been monitored, two sources said. It was not clear if the conversation occurred before or after Tocchet was charged, but it was before the scandal became public.

There is no evidence that the accidental tipoff compromised the investigation, but "it couldn't have helped," according to one source. It also forced the State Police to scramble to arrest the suspects and gave the agency less time to prepare for an avalanche of media scrutiny.

Representatives from the FBI and New Jersey State Police declined to comment yesterday, as did Tocchet's attorney, Kevin Marino. A spokeswoman for the NHL would not discuss the case or the league's knowledge of it.

The sources said the foul-up occurred in the waning moments of the five-month investigation, a probe that police say uncovered a highly organized operation with mob ties that collected millions of dollars in sports wagers from athletes and celebrities.

In the six weeks before their arrest, Tocchet and Harney allegedly processed $1.7 million worth of bets, including $500,000 from Janet Jones, the wife of the Coyotes' coach, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. None of the wagers were on hockey games, and more than a third of the bets, including $75,000 police say were from Jones, came in the days before this month's Super Bowl.

By that time, troopers and state prosecutors already had begun constructing a plan to dismantle the gambling ring. On Jan. 31, six days before the football game, they obtained a sealed arrest warrant for Harney, an eight-year veteran who was stationed in the Moorestown barracks and patrolled South Jersey.

They also began tracking the whereabouts of other alleged participants, witnesses or suspects in the case, including NHL players believed to be regular bettors in the ring. Among them, sources have said, were Los Angeles Kings center Jeremy Roenick and Boston Bruins center Travis Green.

To locate all the subjects, the State Police enlisted the FBI, a common request for an investigation that extends far beyond New Jersey's borders.

According to the sources, the troopers asked the FBI in Minneapolis for help in serving a subpoena on a player, believed to be Roenick, whose team was scheduled to play the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

2/17/06 8:39 PM
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Edited: 17-Feb-06
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But the federal agent given the task was unaware of the sensitivity of the investigation and called the NHL's security division in New York for information on how to find and serve Roenick, the sources said. In doing so, the agent unknowingly alerted the league for the first time about the probe into Tocchet and star players, the sources said.

League officials then contacted New Jersey State Police and reached out to find Tocchet.

The troopers had planned to arrest the suspects on Tuesday and announce the charges the following day, the sources said. But after hearing from the NHL, they realized the case was poised to break open, and they moved up their timetable.

A trooper signed out a complaint Monday against Tocchet. The assistant coach was served with the complaint outside a Starbucks in Scottsdale, Ariz. Troopers arrested Harney that night as he left a Cherry Hill movie theater.

Jim O'Neal, the Coyotes' head of security, told the Associated Press earlier this week that Tocchet told him he first learned about the case when he was approached outside the coffeehouse. O'Neal also said Gretzky was unaware of the probe until investigators came to his home looking for his wife.

Gretzky has denied making any bets or knowing about the ring, although law enforcement sources say he was recorded discussing his wife's gambling with Tocchet.

Police also arrested a third suspect, James Ulmer of Swedesboro, who they allege was a bookie for the ring. All three men were charged with money laundering, promoting gambling and conspiracy.

They are accused of handling at least 594 bets worth $1.7 million between December 29 and Feb. 5, although police allege Tocchet and Harney began taking bets at least five years ago. They also say the operation had ties to the Philadelphia-based Bruno-Scarfo organized crime family, but they have not released any evidence of a link.

Each defendant was scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Burlington County next week, but that hearing has been canceled

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