Friday, March 16, 2018

Litchfield-Morris Rotary Thanks Casino Investigators Jerry Longo & Jeff DeClerck for Presentation on Louis The Coin Case

Post-luncheon / Jeff and Jerry Show at Forman School: Jeff DeClerck, Jerry Longo

Litchfield-Morris Rotary President Ron Swanson opened the meeting and greeted various guests

Photos OK for reprint, WITH CREDIT 'JOHN SALATTO photos,
courtesy of The Cool Justice Report'

[for Louis The Coin's memoir 'You Thought It Was More']


I first heard of Louis Colavecchio in my former life as a Connecticut State Police Detective Sergeant. Assigned to the State Police Casino Unit, one of the duties was keeping intelligence flowing between law enforcement agencies throughout the country and my own regarding criminal activity in the casino industry.

A routine call from a colleague with the New Jersey State Police started me on a two-year-long case involving dozens of casinos, half a dozen states and a lot of overtime. He told me a story of counterfeit slot machine tokens, the suspect and a Connecticut connection.

When the case was wrapped up by numerous jurisdictions, I saw a face I had seen many times before. This was a very unique crime involving an even more unique individual, Louis The Coin Colavecchio.

Louis grew up Italian as I did. He loves to eat. So do I. at some point in our younger days, we both made choices about which road to take.

Louis loved developing a scam described to me by a U.S. Secret Service agent as the largest counterfeiting case in their department’s history. I loved having a hand in solving it.

Louis came up with a brilliant plan. We The Cops did, too. I do not condone his criminal behavior, but I understand it; he was very creative, an artist. I assisted in some small way with him going to jail and he served his time ... After spending time together after the case closed, we have developed a friendship. That’s OK with me. I am no longer a trooper, having retired in 2003. He’s retired, too, right?

Connecticut State Police Detective Sergeant (Retired) Jerry Longo is now a senior investigator for a major casino. As a trooper, he was assigned to several barracks and the Bureau of Investigations. He received five medals, one for Valor, two for life saving and two for meritorious service. His commendations included one for arresting 125 drunk driving suspects in one year.


  • Perfect Game Hurler Tom Browning at West Hartford VFW via World Series Club; Broke Arm While Pitching

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Tim Brennan 860-655-9056


    WEST HARTFORD, CT – On March 22, 2018 former major league player Tom Browning will be honored at the World Series Club at the West Hartford VFW.

    Browning was a ninth round pick in Major League Baseball’s 1982 draft. He played 12 seasons in the MLB, playing for the Reds and Royals. He suffered a serious broken arm while delivering a pitch that many believe cost his some years off his career.

    He threw the 12th perfect game in Major League history. On September 16, 1988, pitching against the LA Dodgers, Browning needed only 102 pitches to retire 27 straight batters at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. To this day, he remains 1 of only 23 pitchers to throw a perfect game in Major League history.

    Browning was also a member of the 1990 World Series Champion Cincinnati Reds, when they defeated the Oakland Athletics. He led the Reds to a victory in Game 3 of the series, which was a 4 game sweep for the Reds.

    “We are excited to honor Tom Browning at The World Series Club to celebrate an outstanding Major League career that folks remember very well,” said club president, Tim Brennan.

    Tickets for the Browning dinner meeting at The World Series Club, may be obtained on the club’s site, and include a buffet dinner, meet & greet, autographs and an opportunity for questions and answers.

    Monday, March 12, 2018

    Top Investigators from Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods Presented on Louis the Coin Case at Rotary, 3-15-18, sans Louis


    Louis "The Coin" Colavecchio, who agreed to speak to the Litchfield-Morris Rotary earlier this year, has cancelled his appearance scheduled March 15 at noon at Forman School. Colavecchio requested a substantial fee for his appearance last week, however, the volunteer service organization does not pay for speaker appearances. Colavecchio, 76, also noted he is in poor health.

    Presenting in place of Colavecchio are retired Connecticut State Police Det. Sgt. Jerry Longo, now senior investigator at Mohegan Sun; and Jeff DeClerck, senior investigator at Foxwoods. Longo, who arrested Colavecchio for making counterfeit slot machine tokens, wrote an introduction for Louis The Coin's memoir, "You Thought It Was More." Longo and DeClerck were among many investigators and law enforcement agencies who worked on the case, including the U.S. Secret Service.

    - Andy Thibault, Speaker Committee Chair, Litchfield-Morris Rotary.


    Retired Detective Sergeant Jerry Longo oversees the Connecticut State Police Museum and Educational Center as chairman. He is the president of the Connecticut State Police Academy Alumni Association, a director of the Connecticut State Police Academy Educational Foundation, and is the intelligence officer for an international group. Sergeant Longo teaches history at the Connecticut State Police Academy. He is currently a senior investigator with the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Commission at the Mohegan Sun Casino.

    Jeff DeClerck, senior investigator, Gaming Commission, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is a member of the New London County Detective’s Association, the Rhode Island Detective’s Association, Connecticut Gang Investigator’s Association -- having served on the Board of Directors for 3 years -- and is a board member for the International Organization of Asian Crime Investigators and Specialists, the host of the annual International Conference on Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism. Through these memberships, Jeff has established an extensive intelligence network that includes casino industry investigators, as well as law enforcement personnel at the local, state federal and international level to aid in the identification and investigation of activity occurring at Foxwoods Resort and Casino. Jeff is the recipient of the 2002 United States Attorney’s Award for his role in the investigation of a multi-state counterfeit check cashing scheme which was a joint effort with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, West Hartford CT Police Department, Fairfield CT Police Department and the New Jersey State Police Division of Gaming Enforcement.

    2002 Connecticut Law Tribune Column on Louis The Coin
    The Other Side Of The Coin
    March 11, 2002

    Louis Colavecchio is not your average jeweler.

    The North Providence, R.I. entrepreneur brought his talents to Connecticut several years ago. He had already hit Las Vegas. The casinos will never be the same.

    Colavecchio can duplicate or create almost anything made out of precious metals or stones. All he needs is a sample.

    Foxwoods had been booming for about five years when Colavecchio set his sights on Connecticut; Mohegan Sun had just opened.

    Colavecchio never talked about his friends -- at least to police. But one of the important numbers in his personal phone directory was for Louis “Baby Shanks” Manocchio, the reputed Mafia boss of Rhode Island. Manocchio lives in Providence’s Federal Hill Neighborhood, where he once operated the CafĂ© Verdi restaurant. He was convicted of a mob hit in 1968, but that was overturned by the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Manocchio's only other brush with the law came three years ago when he gave his mother a dishwasher and a refrigerator stolen from Connecticut.

    Before Colavecchio could move on the casinos, he needed to do some homework. He also needed some serious equipment. Colavecchio's expert analysis revealed he needed the following: precious metals including copper, zinc and nickel; a 150-ton press from Italy; and laser-cutting tools to cut, shape and create dies to stamp out the coins. The coins were tokens, to be used in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Connecticut.

    When state police brought a sample of Colevecchio’s product to Foxwoods, the experts did not believe it was counterfeit. Some called it a masterpiece. State police advised the casino to keep track of inventory; the token counts were bound to be off because of the surplus. Meanwhile, the inventories at Atlantic City casinos were multiplying like rabbits.

    “We know that he hit Vegas hard,” an investigator told me. “But since many of the directors of security there were former FBI agents, they denied it. The problem did not exist. It never happened.”

    Evidence mounted. A surveillance team comprised of detectives from Las Vegas, New Jersey and Connecticut waited for Colavecchio to hit New Jersey or Connecticut again. He chose New Jersey. This time he used only $100 tokens. It was easy. There were fewer machines to watch.

    Colavecchio was arrested in Atlantic City in late December 1996. The pinch did not make the papers for about a week. In his car, Colavecchio had 750 pounds of counterfeit tokens, a fake police ID, a handgun, maps of casinos and various casino documents.

    The FBI, Secret Service, three state police agencies and Providence police took inventory at Colavecchio’s Providence operation. The government had to rent two storage facilities to store all the loot that was seized.

    Everyone took their turn arresting Colavecchio. He hired a former Rhode Island attorney general as his lawyer.

    Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun acknowledged finding a total of at least $50,000 in fake tokens. Investigators borrowed microscopes from local high schools to inspect mounds of tokens. It took them weeks just to determine that Colavecchio hit one Mohegan Sun jackpot for $2,000.

    Colavecchio ended up in a conference room and getting VIP treatment at Mohegan Sun. His lawyer had worked out a deal. Colavecchio showed law enforcement how he did the job, and promised to help the casino tribes and the state ward off any future raids. They say he was a hero in Providence as well. Colavecchio served a short sentence and did not “rat out” any of his friends.

  • New London Day feature by Karen Florin, Ran on Associated Press national wire

  • Randy Beach column, New Haven Register

  • Litchfield-Morris Rotary website

  • Rotary Facebook page

  • Tuesday, March 06, 2018

    * updated 3-11-18* w/ NL Day story, BOB THIESFIELD Photo Gallery: US Atty #JohnDurham Rendition of #WhiteyBulger Case @USJCT 3-5-18

    New London Day story, P. 1,
    links to complete audio at bottom of story

  • by #KARENFLORIN US Atty #JohnDurham tells mob tales during rare lecture, P. 1, #TheDay, 3-11-18

  • Photos OK for reprint, WITH CREDIT 'BOB THIESFIELD photos,
    courtesy of The Cool Justice Report'

    U.S. Attorney John Durham at reception with Deputy Chief State's Attorney Leonard Boyle and University of St. Joseph President Rhona Free

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham detailed his role as a special prosecutor in the Whitey Bulger case at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford Monday night. Former federal prosecutor Leonard Boyle, now Connecticut's Deputy Chief State's Attorney, worked with Durham on that case and introduced him to a crowd of students, faculty, law enforcement officers, judges and the public. Kathleen Mullen, director of the university's program in Criminal Justice/Restorative Justice, introduced Boyle. Links below include an interview with The Boston Globe's Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy and stories by Edmund Mahony of The Hartford Courant.

  • Edmund Mahony Hartford Courant Story on Jai Alai Killings

  • BACKGROUND: Boston Globe Reporters Kevin Cullen, Shelley Murphy NPR Interview

  • Kathleen Mullen, director of the university's program in Criminal Justice/Restorative Justice

    Deputy Chief State's Attorney Leonard Boyle

  • Edmund Mahony Hartford Courant 2001 Preview of Durham’s Boston Investigation

  • USJ President Rhona Free on Ray Dunaway Show Fri., 3-2-18,WTIC1080

  • Ray Dunaway Show Podcast with President Rhona Free

  • More Background / Advance Postings via Links