LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 2, 2007) — Federal agents knew three weeks in advance that O.J. Simpson and a memorabilia dealer planned a sting operation to retrieve personal items Simpson said were stolen from him, according to FBI reports obtained Friday by The Associated Press.
Dealer Thomas Riccio told FBI agents Aug. 21 that Simpson wanted to televise the operation as he confronted a collector who was peddling thousands of pieces of Simpson’s memorabilia.
Riccio was advised to contact a lawyer before taking any action and was told that alerting the FBI would not absolve him of any potential crime, Special Agent Linda Kline wrote of the meeting, which occurred in Los Angeles.
Simpson, 60, and five other men were arrested after they allegedly stormed a Las Vegas hotel room Sept. 13 to seize items that were believed to include family photos and the suit Simpson wore the day he was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend.
Las Vegas Police Detective Andy Caldwell, the investigator handling the case, said Friday the FBI did not alert his department before the confrontation between Simpson and collectors Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong in a room at a Las Vegas casino hotel.
“They contacted us afterward and provided us with the documentation,” Caldwell told the AP.
He said he had no information about any FBI investigation into the incident and said he has no idea about the nature of the contact between federal agents and Riccio “or why they were talking with him.”