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Retired agent Daniel J. DeSimone served in the FBI for 23 years.
He was initially assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office, before being transferred to the Philadelphia Division, where Dan attained FBI undercover agent certification and performed a variety of undercover assignments.
In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Dan reviews “Operation Casablanca West,” a long-term undercover operation (UCO) conducted in 1998.
He played the undercover role of the manager of an escort service, covertly set up by the FBI to gather evidence of attempts by associates of the New York Gambino crime family to enter the lucrative Las Vegas escort industry, also known as the outcall industry.
Dan and the case agent had to act quickly when, while monitoring intercepted conversations, they learned that three mob enforcers were planning to kidnap, torture and maybe even kill competitors.
Later in his career, Dan was promoted to Chief of Undercover and Sensitive Operations Unit. During the episode, he also provides insights about the undercover program.
Prior to his retirement from the FBI, Dan served as the FBI’s lead to the private sector and, in 2011, was awarded knighthood by Pope Benedict XVI for his career in public service, his actions in his private life, and for leading the 2008 Papal visit to the United States.
Currently, Dan is the Senior Director of Investigative Resources at Thomson Reuters, where he serves as the company’s chief interface with members of law enforcement agencies and corporate security services.
Special Agent (Retired)
Daniel J. DeSimone
February 1988 – 2011
“DeCarlo says, ‘You just can’t take these three guys out to the desert and put a bullet in their heads. This is Las Vegas. This ain’t New York. That would get noticed.'”—Retired Agent Dan DeSimone
The following are news articles about “Operation Casablanca West” and the New York mob’s attempt in 1998 to enter the Las Vegas escort industry:
Chicago Tribune – 10/18/1998: MOB GOING HIGH-TECH IN BID TO MOVE IN ON VEGAS SEX INDUSTRY, U.S. SAYS
Tampa Bay Times – 10/15/1998: Two area men charged with escort plan
Daily News – 10/15/1998: Gotti Guys Arrested in Vegas Strong-Arm
Las Vegas Review Journal – 10/14/1998: Top-Notch Work by Federal Agents Keeps Three People Alive
Las Vegas Sun – 3/26/2000: Torture expert gets prison time for extortion plot
Las Vegas Sun – 7/1/2002: Outcall industry proved vulnerable to mob
Check out my blog post and two case reviews of FBI investigations to learn more about the FBI investigations focused on the sex work industry:
Episode 021: John Ligato – Mob Guys and Strip Clubs
Bonus Episode: Philadelphia Strip Club Corruption Case, Frank Antico – Pay To Play