311: Jerry Hester – Mafia Miami, Operation Paesan Blues

In this episode, retired agent Jerry Hester reviews his Paesan Blues investigation, an FBI undercover operation that targeted Italian mafioso Roberto Settineri’s global crime network, with the collaboration of the Italian National Police (INP) and, surprisingly, the cooperation of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.

The Miami United States Attorney’s Office honored Jerry with an Outstanding Law Enforcement of the Year Award for his work on the Paesan Blues investigation. After reviewing the case, Jerry discusses the administrative roadblocks he encountered while running the complex investigation.

Special Agent (Retired)

Jerry Hester

12/1997 – 4/2018






“Settineri tells him that he thinks one of the guys he’s been dealing with and he’s talking about our undercover agent. He believes he’s a cop. Settineri doesn’t give a reason why he thinks this. He just says that something doesn’t feel right to him. And in the call, the associate tells him, ‘Hey, if you feel that way, walk away. Your instincts have always served you well, Roberto.’ And that was exactly what Settineri did. He completely walked away from our undercover agent forever. He never called him again.”

Jerry served in the FBI for 20 years, conducting criminal investigations into matters involving Organized Crime, Narcotics, Public Corruption and Counterterrorism.

He was assigned to the Miami and San Francisco FBI field offices, where he gained extensive experience in working joint international investigations with foreign government officials. Before his retirement, he managed the Miami FBI’s confidential human source program.

Currently, Jerry is an integrity representative with the National Football League (NFL) Security Department, conducting and overseeing game day security for players and referees, and monitoring compliance with NFL policy as it relates to the legalized sports betting industry.

Jerry is the author of Mafia Miami: FBI Politics and How an Investigation was Nearly Sabotaged.

The book is focused on Operation Paesan Blues and the investigation of Settineri, but it also describes how and why Jerry believes internal agency politics and conflicting agendas affected the investigation.

The following are news articles about Operation Paesan Blues and the arrest of mobster Roberto Settineri:

New Times Broward-Palm Beach – 3/16/2010: Anatomy of the Rothstein Mafia Case

Palm Beach Post – 4/7/2012: Reputed mafioso Settineri, snagged by Rothstein, FBI, had prior brush with law in Miami

CBS Miami – 11/3/2010: Reputed Mobster Linked To Rothstein Sentenced

McClatchy DC –  9/18/2013: Florida lawyer who ran Ponzi scheme helped nab Mafia figures

NBC 6 South Florida – 8/25/2010: Alleged Mobster Nabbed by Rothstein Pleads Guilty

New York Post – 11/3/2010: Reputed mob figure sentenced to 4 years in prison for role in $1.2B ponzi scheme

(VIDEO) Italian Press Conference – OPERAZIONE PAESAN BLUES 

(VIDEO) Operazione “Paesan Blues”. Squadra mobile di Palermo 10 marzo 2010

To learn more about Scott Rothestein’s role in this investigation, listen to:

275: Richard Stout – Billion Dollar Ponzi Schemer Scott Rothstein

Roberto Settineri’s mug shot.
Jerry Hester and Roberto Settineri after his arrest in Miami. As a courtesy, the FBI invited visiting officers from the Italian National Police (INP) to take part in the perp walk.
This article from the Italian magazine Panorama, shows the mafioso network connections in the US and Italy.





























Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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  1. […] 311: Jerry Hester – Mafia Miami, Operation Paesan Blues […]


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