News 3 Las Vegas recently took a two-part look at my podcast, Vegas Fed, about the infamous Wynn Kidnapping case.
I’ll let them speak for themselves.
The POP has finished his first podcast. https://www.vegasfed.com
So here are six 30 minute audio episodes about what was – arguably – the “biggest” criminal case, and trial, in Las Vegas history. The kidnapping of casino boss Steve Wynn’s daughter. He paid $1.45 million in ransom for her release.
The case was quite a challenge for a relatively new federal prosecutor – me.
However, I had the advantage of having had worked for a few years with cops in NY who were a lot tougher (and crazier) than most FBI agents. More importantly, I has been one of them myself, briefly (SCPD 3rd. Pct. Squad 12 – 1982-1984).
OK, I don’t like to brag, but in those 2 years I made about 100 arrests, got 5 commendations, was involved – sort of – in a shootout, and was sued for “brutality” by Thomas Ferry, brother of the national president of the Pagans OMG, Paul Ferry (aka “Ooch”).
The legendary Kenny Hamilton and I thereafter nicknamed Thomas “Ouch”.
The podcast is intended to be an inside look at how investigations – particularly local/fed “cooperative” endeavors – proceed.
And of course the backdrop is Las Vegas – Sin City – the Strip.
So, here is a memoir of a big time case in Las Vegas, ramrodded by the humble former 321 footman, who managed to get into all kinds of hijinks thanks to the cops he worked with – and loved – in the early 1980’s, and thereafter as an ADA.
Enjoy some Las Vegas history, and share if you think the effort worthy.
In 1994, tried two of the men who extorted $1.45 million from the Mirage Hotel and Casino in 1993 by kidnapping the daughter of Mirage Resorts CEO Steve Wynn. A third defendant pled and cooperated with the Government. Cuddy was the ringleader and a failed Newport Beach, California, businessman; the accomplices he recruited were young gang members. This crime occurred in July, 1993, during the height of the 1992-1994 onslaught of Las Vegas casinos, banks, and jewelry stores by Los Angeles gang members.
The venerable Judge Lloyd D. George (for whom the Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas is named) recently stated that in all his years on the bench, the best witness he had ever observed was Steve Wynn, whose emotional testimony riveted all who were present in the courtroom. After an extremely high profile and contentious trial, the defendants were convicted of Conspiracy, Hobbs Act, Use of Firearms, and Money Laundering offenses, and received sentences of 19 and 24 years respectively.
See U.S v Sherwood, 982 (9th Cir. 1996), U.S. v. Cuddy, (147 F3d111 (9th Cir, 1998) (published opinions)