Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What the Hell Happened in Waco "Biker Brawl"?

UPDATED; ADDITIONAL INFO I have not previously covered the 1%er motorcycle clubs (though I have been considering launching a new blog dedicated to that volatile world).

However in the recent Waco, Texas, case, I have some inside information  from a knowledgeable source that seems to jibe with recently published reports.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Many Ghosts Haunt Witness Protection Program

Pascal "Paddy" Calabrese robbed Buffalo's City Hall during daylight.

While serving a five-year stretch for his daring but unsuccessful feat, he started nursing a deep hatred for his boss, Stefano Magaddino, who had cut him loose the moment he was cuffed by law enforcement.

Magaddino had done the same to the drug-dealing Agueci brothers, forgetting about them as soon as they were arrested. Magaddino had been well aware of the brothers' narcotics business and was glad to pocket their generous tributes in return for police protection. But Magaddino couldn't have cared less when the cops busted the two.

Stefano Magaddino kept the Marshals busy.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Path to WITSEC Built on Omerta's Dead

Meet the Tweetfellas. Former mobsters living large, and in public.

So read a recent newspaper article, that sought to take to task these "media characters" who have the gall to balk "after completing their government service as informants."

Instead of "vanishing into America’s heartland with new identities... they are sticking close — some would say dangerously close — to their stomping grounds and stoking high-profile on social media, personal websites and reality TV shows."

WITSEC was perfected by the time Fat Pete Chiodo was ready for it.

"Former NYPD Police Commissioner [from 1996 to 2000] Howard Safir, who created the witness protection program when he was a top official of the U.S. Marshals Service, said they’re foolhardy if they think they’re getting a pass on the death sentence for violating the mob’s code of silence."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Goodfellas 4 God Ministries' Sizzle Reel for Reality Show

We present a sizzle reel for an intended television series regarding Goodfellas 4 God Ministries. The show focuses on the real-life stories of those who departed "the life" to rededicate themselves to Christianity.

A trilogy of feature films based on members' true live stories is also planned.

Friday, May 15, 2015

NYC's Last Gangland Hit Allegedly Solved

In November 2013, one of the last mob hits in the New York area took place.

And now law enforcement reportedly has arrested those responsible, including a soldier in the Bonanno crime family.
Gangster Michael Meldish was slain the old-school way, with a bullet to the back of his head.
The murder scene of Michael Meldish.

Gangster Michael Meldish was slain the old-school way, with a bullet to the back of his head. The killing had all the signs of a gangland hit, complete with the victim slumped over in the driver's seat of his rusty Lincoln LS in Throgs Neck on Ellsworth Ave.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

60 Minutes Glimpses Part of Scores Story

Michael Blutrich grew up in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Georgetown in 1974, he opened his own firm on Park Avenue, Blutrich, Falcone & Miller. The current Governor of New York, Andrew M. Cuomo, was a partner in the firm (1985-1988).

Michael Blutrich owned Scores
Michael Blutrich was featured on 60 Minutes
The news show will revisit the Scores case.
In the 1990s, using stolen money, Blutrich started investing in restaurants and nightclubs including the strip club Scores. At some point, he started working in cahoots with Steve Sergio, described by 60 Minutes as a Gambino associate. (See script of the episode, An Unlikely Informant here.)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Who Really Ran Scores Shakedown?

Greg DePalma was desperate to regain his standing as a capo when he was released from prison in February 2003 after serving a 70-month sentence for racketeering.

He was supposedly all washed up.

He'd been caught talking on tape, which led to his conviction as well as that of John A. "Junior" Gotti in the Scores strip-club extortion case. (They copped plea deals, actually, at the last minute.)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Michael DiLeonardo On the Gotti Reign

Mikie Scars, recently taken.

After reading Michael "Mikie Scars" DiLeonardo's testimony and watching him on the Trevor McDonald show, we wanted to know more about his story.

We reached out and initially asked for his opinion about the ongoing media feud (GangLand News even wrote about it in Tweets Not Bullets: Mob War in CyberSpace).

We got what we sought from "Scars" -- that and a whole lot more. DiLeonardo knows Cosa Nostra, and we spent most of this week working with him. We thank Michael for generously spending his time with us.

Michael DiLeonardo's story certainly warrants a full-length book. When we asked Michael if he was working on getting his life story onto the page, he told us only that he's received many requests.

"Mikie Scars" beat the Feds when he was tried in Georgia for extorting some $70 million from Georgia's Gold Club and $100,000 from the Manhattan-based high-end Scores strip club.

The trial ran from mid-March to August 30, 200.

DiLeonardo was acquitted.

John Gotti Senior died around 10 months later, on June 10, 2002. "Mikie Scars" was filmed by the Feds attending the Dapper Don's wake.

Days after Gotti's burial, Michael and others were arrested based on Craig DePalma's sealed Grand Jury testimony.

"Fat Dom" Borghese, Anthony Rotondo, Anthony Capo and "Vinny Ocean" Palermo were set to testify against Michael for his role in the Fred Weiss murder.

While sitting in jail, DiLeonardo learned that Joseph "Jo Jo" Corozzo, consiglieri, speaking for Peter Gotti and Nicholas "Little Nicky" Corozzo, had "stopped all my income, all my money, mob and non mob-related," Michael said.

"Now this is not an excuse for flipping. There are no excuses for flipping if you are in the life."

(The irony here is that John Gotti Senior sent a message through Peter Gotti to offer DiLeonardo the consiglieri position circa late-1998-1999. “I turned him down,” Michael said, allowing Jo Jo the opportunity.)

DiLeonardo had nothing coming to him, he was informed. Angered, Michael sent a message back to the administration:

"I don't remember dying or getting life yet. I may come home one day."

Soon after, an associate named Noel Modica sent a message to Michael through Madalina that he'd been shelved.

"She had no clue what it meant," Michael said. "I couldn't believe what she had said.

"Now this is not an excuse for flipping. There are no excuses for flipping if you are in the life.

"So it crushed me. Broke my heart. In that state of mind I made the choice to flip. It obviously was not a good time to make a huge, life-changing decision, but I did, to my chagrin."

Ironically, DiLeonardo got his big break in the Mafia when another man flipped, Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano.

"After Gravano and others went away, there was a power vacuum in the Gambino crime family. Senior and Junior put me in charge of construction. I was in position to earn a lot of money," said DiLeonardo.

Born into the Mafia
DiLeonardo was born and raised in Bath Beach, Brooklyn.

"I came up in that life under Jerry D’Aquila, whose father [Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquila] was the first boss of bosses. Paul Zaccaria [whose father was a brother-in-law to "Toto" D'Aquila] also schooled me."

The D'Aquila name is prominent in early American Mafia history.

Salvatore "Toto" D'Aquila (November 1877 – October 10, 1928) was the first boss of what, in 1957, became the Gambino crime family. In 1910, Giuseppe "the Clutch Hand" Morello, known as the first "boss of bosses," was imprisoned. D'Aquila broke from the Morello crime family in which he'd been a captain and formed his own family.

DiLeonardo's grandfather, Vincenzo DiLeonardo, was a capo in D'Aquila's Brooklyn faction.

"We started going back and forth over things. He's not supposed to get pinched for Scores, I'm supposed to be pinched for Scores. I'm supposed to be pinched for Scores."

"My grandfather and great grandfather were sent here by Vito Cascioferro. They were paesans from Bisacquino, Sicily. My grandfather was a captain early on with D'Aquila. Jerry was a captain too but was taken down for misusing money.

"Paul Zaccaria drove Carlo Gambino around for a time.

"My father was Sal D'Aquila's godchild.

"I came up under both those guys. We called each other cousins. D'Aquila was in control of everyone in New York for a period, with some resistance. He had Cleveland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh come into him.

"D'Aquila was betrayed by Mineo. A war was happening for years leading up to his death and beyond until Mineo was killed and that made the peace," DiLeonardo said.

The Sicilians, back then, were based on Elizabeth Street, First Avenue and Harlem in New York City, DiLeonardo said.

Holiday Buttons on Christmas Eve 1988
Michael and John Junior were both made on Christmas Eve 1988. Sammy the Bull ran the ceremony.

Michael noticed that Junior underwent an instant change following their induction.

"It happens with a lot of  guys," DiLeonardo said. "As soon as they get their finger pinched they wake up the next day and get hit with all this information and knowledge. The think: This is royalty. Most guys get dumber instead of smarter" after getting their button.

He admits the two men had good times together. John Senior had wanted DiLeonardo close to his son. "John Senior saw something in me that he thought would be good medicine for his son."

Real difficulties between the two didn't commence until years later, in 1996 and 1997, DiLeonardo said.

"We started going back and forth over things. He's not supposed to get pinched for Scores, I'm supposed to be pinched for Scores. I'm supposed to be pinched for Scores."

DiLeonardo said that greed, a major trait of Junior Gotti, was a major problem for the Gambino crime family. Long before the Scores indictments landed, "I told John we're going to jail for this because he involved Greg DePalma."

"What is he, a rat?" Junior asked Michael.

No, but Greg DePalma constantly said incriminating things on wiretaps. He was caught, put away and reclaimed what was his on the street several times owing to his words being caught on tape.

It was no secret that DePalma was a blabbermouth.

For all the trouble it caused him, Michael had nothing to show for his involvement in Scores. He was supposed to be paid $10,000 for his role. "The payment from Scores came from Craig to Junior at a wedding. Then Junior gives it to me, then takes it back saying it was for appeal lawyers for Tony Morrelli  and Ozzie Santini, which was fine by me."

Junior liked to hang around with fellow weightlifters. Many injected a daily diet of steroids to bulk up. Muscles were common ground for Junior, Mikie Scars said. "Junior had Willie Marshall around him. Junior knew he was a corrections officer. I'd break his balls over this."

Michael explained: "His father was charismatic. When Junior put the suit on, he knew he wasn't his father. That's why he felt more comfortable in the baseball cap and the sweatsuit. His persona was his muscles. He looked in mirrors, walked down 101st Avenue getting his picture taken. That was his armor, his muscles.

"He didn't understand this is Cosa Nostra. You could be an old man and live off a lifetime of respect." Rather, his mentality was: "'I'm Gotti, I have muscles," DiLeonardo said. "He'd sit at the table in a restaurant and take a deep breath and flex his pecs, with just me sitting there."

Junior also gave Michael pause with the way he spoke of his father. "Junior referred to his father as a god," DiLeonardo said.

Mikie Scars still in the life.
"He also called his father the "chief" during meetings with the administrations of other families.

"I spoke to [Jackie] D'Amico and told him to also speak to Junior about calling John Senior chief to other families. Each family has its own chief, they don't wanna hear that."

On this point, Junior did take the advice, and stopped referring to Senior as the chief in front of other families.

DiLeonardo said that Junior was a "power" and that the belief that some crime families didn't recognize him is totally false.

"When we were in the street, we met many times with [the administration of the Genovese family]," as well as the administrations of other families.

"We did business with the West Side all the time."

DiLeonardo said that he had Junior's ear their first few years together on the street.

"Early on he was not greedy," DiLeonardo said.."After Senior went to prison, I was influential."

John Gotti Senior had wanted it that way. "Junior tells me 'my father wants me to be close to you.' I became acting captain and then capo."

Junior (and DiLeonardo) Banned Sanctioned Hits
Asked what Junior's largest contribution to the Gambino crime family was as its acting boss, DiLeonardo said that it was issuing a ban on sanctioned hits in the Gambino family.

"I'd been telling him that we had to stop the murders and the drug dealing. I also told him he had to let the family earn." Michael was referring to old timers especially, who wanted to generate revenue.

So Junior banned all sanctioned hits in the Gambino family, a proclamation that held up from 1991 until 2002, DiLeonardo said.

"They weren't supposed to bring a gun," he added. "In different times he could've been killed for what he did. That's the reason you don't bring a gun to a meeting. That is why on a sanctioned hit you have backup, crash cars -- you plan it out. You don't shoot a guy in broad daylight like that."

"There is no sanctioned murders for a 10-year period. We put a moratorium on killing, except in certain instances, such as if someone was an informant."

He referred to specific killings that happened within the period as off-the-record hits, such as the case of Frank Hydell, who knew about a murder and was suspected of cooperating.

As for the Uvas, the married couple that robbed social clubs -- one movie was made about them, now another one is in production -- Michael referred to what they did as suicide by mobster. "That was an open contract. Our guys did it. You rob a social club -- you commit suicide."

There was no plot to murder Curtis Sliwa, the outspoken radio personality who insulted and ridiculed John Gotti Senior murder, DiLeonardo said. "He was supposed to be kidnapped and baseball-batted. Hospital job.

"They weren't supposed to bring a gun," he added. "In different times he could've been killed for what he did. That's the reason you don't bring a gun to a meeting. That is why on a sanctioned hit you have backup, crash cars -- you plan it out. You don't shoot a guy in broad daylight like that."

DiLeonardo said a "dozen guys would be gone now" if not for the ban.

"Everybody wants to kill everybody. I had decided years earlier that when I got into position, I was going to stop that."

Junior mentions the ban on killing in Shadow of My Father but doesn't include the fact that "Mikie Scars" had pushed for it.

The Gotti Monarchy
"John Senior wanted to take over the Commission and be the "boss of bosses." He wanted to run all five families - that was his main goal. So his son must have known that.

"For them, it was a monarchy - the Gottis tried to hold on like the Persicos. It doesn't work through bloodlines."

The Persicos led the Colombo family through a bloody civil war to maintain their power. Carmine Persico is still the boss, DiLeonardo said.

John Gotti Senior was unique in that he had no family member to give him admittance to Cosa Nostra.

"He took over by violence. Junior felt entitled, even though he had no lineage. The Gottis had no lineage when it came to Cosa Nostra. It started and stopped with John Senior."

Gotti Senior was "a street guy from Fulton-Rockaways. He was a tough fucking guy. That is how he got around, through Angelo Ruggiero, then through Neil [Aniello "Neil" Dellacroce], who rose to the position of underboss after Carlo Gambino removed "Joe the Blonde" from the position."

"He blasted his way into the mob -- he came the tough guy way in," Michael added.

"Whatever his father had" in terms of charisma and street smarts, Junior didn't have.
Still, Junior "was a smart guy, well read."

Mikie Scar's Drug Policy
Michael's own brother was killed in a gangland hit. "They put my brother in the drug business and that was their excuse for killing him," he remarked dryly.

He was against taking drug money, though he was well aware of the "don't get caught" loophole. He also knew "some guys paid the price of getting caught."

When he learned his former brother-in-law was taking drug money, Michael confronted him.

"The Gottis are in the drug business, everybody is in that business, don’t brown nose Junior," his brother-in-law said. "Fuck them."

"My response was, 'Frank, let them be in that business. It's not us. Let's not give anyone excuses to fuck with us. I lost a brother already, we are making huge money -- why risk this?' I ordered him to stop. Of course he never stopped until he got pinched, then lies about taking drug money."

As for Junior, was he in the drug business? Junior himself certainly says he's not.

But Mikie Scars mentioned two specific instances that makes him doubt Junior's truthfulness.

One instance involved Junior using Michael as a messenger. He was told to inform a member of the Gambino crime family that if a certain person, Danny Fama carried out a certain drug deal, he'd be killed. DiLeonardo was told to pass the message on to Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano.

By admitting to this knowledge, Junior was saying that he had special knowledge of a facet of the drug business, DiLeonardo said. Either that, or someone about to be killed "had a very good friend giving him a tip."

"That was one of the hints Junior may have been taking drug money -- not selling drugs himself. But if you pick up money from drugs, you are in the drug business. Once you accept that money, you are a drug dealer."

Another hint occurred at the wedding of Pasquale "Patsy" Conte's son on Great Neck, Long Island.

"Junior tells me that Jackie [D'Amico] is gonna talk to me."

Jackie approached Michael. "He tells me, what do you think? Patsy Conte wants to give us $800,000 as a gift."

Conte was known to be in the drug business, so the money Jackie references is "junk money," Michael said.

Then Conte himself approached to greet Michael.

"Patsy never said hello or goodbye to me. Now he knows where the power is. He walks away and Junior walks up to me and says what you think?"

"Now I gotta think of answer for this guy.I didn't know the right anwer to give him. Then I threw at him:"By our rule we're supposed to kill this guy."

Then "Junior puts his finger in my face, not in a threatening way, but in a why like he's trying to educate me. He says "I want you to think about that."

"In my head, I thought, I guess we're in the drug business."

Junior Never Sought Advice
Junior's problem in Cosa Nostra was that he didn't appreciate the knowledge that could have been easily passed down to him, according to DiLeonardo. Junior went to military school and "thought he was running a battalion. He didn't realize the dynamic of what Cosa Nostra was.

"John Junior thought he was in the army. He didn't know how to be the boss of anything. He thought his guys were his troops.

"Because his name was Gotti he knows everything."

Rather, DiLeonardo was surprised to see that Junior Gotti had a habit of stealing Michael's words and using them as if they were his own.

Some of "Mikie Scars" advice to Junior would be parroted by Junior to others, including DiLeonardo himself, as if Junior was telling him something he didn't already know.

In fact, DiLeonardo says some of the things he told Junior are in Shadow of My Father -- "certain things that I told him that he never gave me credit for."

That's how Junior was. "We'd talk and a week later during conversation he'd use something I had told him like he was telling me." When he did this, "he'd lift one eyebrow up. I was like "What are you saying? You had an epiphany there?"

Michael eagerly sought the viewpoints of others. He was schooled by men who grew up with fathers who were part of the founding of the American Mafia. DiLeonardo believed the family elders had wisdom -- and that it was worth the effort to talk to them.

"Junior didn't exercise his learning skills by listening to older men in the family.

"I would tell him all the time -- I know two old timers - one's father was first boss of bosses..."

"He'd say 'Yeah, yeah, yeah..."

During a visit to Arizona, DiLeonardo met John "Johnny Mash" Mascia, who had a house there.

Through Johnny Mash, DiLeonardo met Frank Valenti, who at the time was in video gambling machines.

Valenti (September 14, 1911 - September 20, 2008) was a legendary boss and founder of the Rochester crime family, which he headed from 1964 until 1972. The Pittsburgh crime family had assisted Valenti in forming the borgata, which operated in the Buffalo crime family's turf..

Valenti was one of the last living attendees of the 1957 Apalachin Conference.

"Frankie Valenti starts talking history with me," Michael said.

When he returned to New York, DiLeonardo told John Junior: "We should buy this guy a ticket and have dinner with him. We could learn."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah..."

"He knew too much. Old timers, that's how you learn, talking to the old timers.

"He felt like he knew it all.

"When you die in your bed like Carlo Gambino, that's when you can say you know it all."

Did Junior Quit the Mob?
"This is what I think happened. He went to see his father and watched his father get progressively worse at Marion (frustration over the life sentence, then cancer was the cause of Gotti Senior's change)."

Initially, John Senior wanted to know what was happening in the streets. He told John Junior to send him photographs.

So they started taking photographs.

"Junior said, my father wants us to take pictures. So we'd go to dinner with 15 guys and take pictures.

"Senior wanted to know what was going on. He'd get frustrated because he had no control. For a guy with John's ego - that must be super frustrating."

"The frustration was building up in him during family visits. He'd take it out on his family, including his grandson.

"He had no control and he wanted to keep control -- and how he kept control was through the use of extreme violence and extreme fear."

"Junior was visibly upset seeing how his father had deteriorated. He knew the guy was withering away. You could see it on Junior's face.

"There came a point he said, 'Michael, do me a favor you handle all the captains in Brooklyn. Anybody wants to see me, tell them I'm tied up. I'll have my uncle Pete handle other skippers. I just wanna back up a little bit.'

"I said to myself: what is he doing, a Paul Castellano?

"Junior must have seen the digression in his father. He didn't want to die that death. I think he started to get fearful. I would never have hurt Junior or betray him while we were in the street. He was my compare and my boss. I was with him till our ends."

So Junior pulled away from the crime family.

"He's hanging out with Dr Klein, going to see Riverdance. I don't know what the fuck happened. Dr. Klein would see Junior after midnight at Northshore hospital. Then he started getting pains in his head.

"We both cooperated, John Alite and myself -- he can say we're punks etc. But I could have crushed him. If I wanted to lie, I could have put him in numerous murders, which I did not.

"I did not. I could have and I did not.

"People can't see it or don't want to see it. They wanna champion the Gotti cause when they see him" in the media and on the Internet. "People are enamored with it. But unless you were inside, you can't know what it truly means."

Johnny Alite touched a nerve, Michael said.

"When the 302 came out, there is no way John Junior could spin and get away from it.

In the 302, "he blames two separate murders on two separate guys. And now he says he lied about it. To me, that is less than rat."

"Junior will never convince the street guys that what he did was right -- meaning how he fought his trials and how he tried to explain away the 302. He’s done in the street.

"It's the public -- his fan club.

"He has to keep up the image. He will never ever forgive John Alite -- because of what he, John Junior, did to himself.

"I understand and have already forgiven John Junior," Mikie Scars added.

On that note we include a personal message to the Johns, Junior and Alite, from Michael DiLeonardo...

To John A. Gotti and John Alite:
John Junior, pack up your family and move to South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida -- live up to what you promised during your trials. If you love and care for your family, take them out of that environment.

Because there is no question this is having an impact on them.

You have the women and children in your family fighting this poison with John Alite in the press.

John Junior and John Alite -- you both need to stop it, remember WHO and WHAT you were.
Your family is more important than the "Gotti Legend." That is done, no saving it.

You and John Alite have a long history with each other. You also have children that are involved in this mess. Sooner or later your kids -- both of your kids -- will be going after each other to defend their dads.

Do you want that for your kids? Violence and prison?

Intervene now. You both have a lot of dirt on each other. Leave dirt where it belongs, on the ground. Stop kicking it into each other's faces.

Here is an offering from me -- I will personally mediate a truce between the two of you if you want.

Michael DiLeonardo

We can be contacted on Michael's behalf at

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Skinny Joey: Feds "Wanted to Stick It Up My Ass"

They tried to stick it up Merlino's ass, he said.....

From Big Trial: "They owe me four months," Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino quipped during a phone interview this afternoon, adding, "I hope they just leave me alone. I'm not doing anything wrong."

Last month, when the appellate court announced it was vacating the lower court order that sent Merlino back to jail, his lawyer, Edwin Jacobs Jr. declared that "my client has served a four-month sentence for doing absolutely nothing wrong."

But that's not exactly the legal takeaway from the split decision of the appellate court that was made public today.

Pizzeria Owner Ate Rival, Was Ndrangheta's U.S. Cocaine Connection

The Gigliottis, husband and wife, was the U.S. connection between the
Ndrangheta and South American drug cartels.

A savage freelancing mobster arrested in New York for his part in a transcontinental cocaine trafficking network boasted to his wife that he ate the heart and kidney of a rival who owed him money, it is alleged.

Gregorio Gigliotti was the U.S. broker between the Ndrangheta, considered Italy's richest and most brutal organized crime syndicate, and the South American drug cartels. Despite reports to the contrary, it doesn't appear the New York families are directly implicated in this case.

Longtime Calabria-based anti-Mafia prosecutor Nicola Gratteri said the 'ndrangheta has for some time been beefing up its presence in the United States: "In New York, right under the Brooklyn Bridge."

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mikie Scars Speaks....

In what we consider to be our most important contribution to the history of the American Cosa Nostra, we interviewed Michael "Mikie Scars" DiLeonardo about life in the Five Families -- specifically, the Gambino crime family when it was helmed by one of the most famous mob bosses of the 20th century, John Gotti.

Mikie Scars provided some interesting details about pre-Cosa Nostra history in America, too.

You will learn things you never knew or imagined about the Gambino crime family during the Gotti reign. (Such as Michael actually spells his name "Mikie"....)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Real Mob Wife Takes Us Inside "Mob Wives"

An anonymous source who knows a lot about VH1's Mob Wives cast members recently contacted us.

What annoys her (she's a true "Mob Wife") is the idea that some of the women on Mob Wives may actually serve as role models for young women.

"First off, understand: They are not Mob Wives. None of them."

The "old" cast is new... almost.

"They are all liars and everyone on Staten Island has no respect for them. And how they chased her father because of the show!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Ruling Would've Stopped Feds from Bugging Big Paul

Where was this federal judge when the FBI installed a bug inside the home of Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano? The article doesn't even reference Castellano.

A federal judge issued a stern rebuke Friday to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's method for breaking up an illegal online betting ring. 

According to published reports a Las Vegas court frowned on the FBI's ruse of disconnecting Internet access to $25,000-per-night villas at Caesar's Palace Hotel and Casino. FBI agents posed as the cable guy and secretly searched the premises.