Retired Intelligence Detective Gary Jenkins brings you the best in mob history with his unique perception of the mafia. In this episode of Gangland Wire, host Gary Jenkins dives into the thrilling story of Louie, “Louis the Coin” Colavecchio, a mob associate from Providence, Rhode Island, with guests Andy Thibault, the author of the book “You’d Think It Was More,” and retired Connecticut State Police officer Jerry Longo, who arrested Louie. The book delves into Louie’s life as a master thief and counterfeiter, providing intriguing stories about the Rhode Island mob. After reading a column that Andy and Jerry had published together, Louie approached Andy with his manuscript. With the help of their friend Franz Dusky and Jerry, they worked on the manuscript for several years and got it published. The book is set to be released next June. Jerry shares his experience as a Bureau of Criminal Investigations member and his involvement in catching the individual responsible for counterfeiting casino tokens. They collaborated with law enforcement in New Jersey and Connecticut, employing a unique approach to track the suspect’s presence in the casino using the inventory system. The suspect was eventually caught with evidence of counterfeiting tokens for various casinos. The conversation continues with discussions about Louie’s connections to the Providence mob and the involvement of the Patriarca crime family in his operations. The main speaker reflects on Louie’s charismatic personality and how he maintained a presence in the casinos despite being banned by many. Louie’s criminal activities ranged from insurance scams to counterfeiting money, and he had various professions, including being a metallurgist and reverse engineer. The conversation concludes with discussions on the gaming industry, Louie’s preferences for playing slot machines for perks, and his involvement in other illegal activities.
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[0:00] Welcome all you guys back here to the studio Gangland Wire. This is Gary Jenkins, retired Kansas City, Missouri, police intelligence detective turned radio show host, or in this case, podcast host. And I really appreciate y’all listening.
And I have a pretty interesting story about the Providence, Rhode Island, Patriarcha a mob or a mob associate guy named Louie, the coin.
Colavecchio. And he was right next to Patriarcha.
I read this book called, you’d think it was more. And this guy was a master thief, a master criminal, and he could counterfeit anything.
It’s just, it’s a crazy story, I think. And it’s really well written by our guest here, Andy Thibault.
And we have Jerry Longo, retired from the Connecticut State Police, who actually arrested Louis the Coin at the end.
So we’ll get to hear about that and the relationship he developed with this guy, because all these kinds of really good criminals, they always have really good personalities, I’ve noticed. Do you ever notice that, Jerry?
[1:00] Huge personalities. I mean, they’re good. I tell you, this book, it sounds interesting.
I haven’t really got a chance to read it all, but I read enough of it to make notes that it’s got some great stories in it about the Rhode Island mob.
Here’s what an assistant U.S. attorney in New York said about it.
The Rhode Island mob and the eponymous This Patriarcha family have had many chronicles, but none has captured it better than Andy Thiebaud in the Louis the Coin Memoir.
Throw in a heavy mix of GoodFellas and you have a book that will take its rightful place in mob lore.
So if you like books about mob lore and firsthand stories you need to get, you thought it was more, and I’ll have links in the show notes.
Book recommendation: “You Thought It Was More”
[1:45] So having said all that, let’s get started.
Andy, you wanna get started with, how’d you get into this story?
[1:52] Well, it’s kind of funny. Jerry and I have been colleagues and became friends over many years. We worked a lot of events together.
I don’t even remember when it was, probably more than 20 years ago, I learned about Jerry’s work on this case.
And he had heard about an overflow of slot machine tokens at casinos throughout the country actually, but Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and as Jerry would like to say, they’re not rabbits where the extra one’s coming from.
[2:33] So, Jerry can tell you how they tested him with microscopes and I only learned about Louie after Jerry arrested him and with, I think Jerry doesn’t mind me saying this now, with his great help, we published a column in the Connecticut Law Tribune and sometime later I get a call from Louie because his wife had read about it online and he said had a manuscript.
So he came to my house in Connecticut with his then-wife, and we talked and over a period of maybe eight or ten years, I worked on it with another friend of ours, Franz Dusky and Jerry, and we kind of got the manuscript together.
We got it published and And a firm out of Las Vegas, Histria Books, H-I-S-T-R-I-A, bought, the, rights, and, they’re.
Upcoming book on organized crime in Rhode Island
[3:30] Publishing an updated version that includes a history of organized crime in Rhode Island by Joe Broadmeadow, retired of Providence, East Providence, P.D..
[3:42] Louis’ sentencing report, which documents and affirms everything we have in the book with footnotes.
And the pre-order links are out now, but it won’t hit the street or Kindle till sometime next June, I believe.
[3:59] Okay, great. I look forward to that, to seeing that whole book.
And that Joe Broadmeadow, I interviewed him and he knows his stuff.
And I read you included some of that in the materials you gave me.
That’s a really good overview of the history of the patriarchy family and Providence, Rhode Island mob. That’s a heck of a mob.
[4:18] So Jerry, when you first got onto this, were you working intelligence or what were you working with the state police or CINO enforcement? Well, I was in a Bureau of Criminal Investigations, BCI.
As you know, most states are using the criminal investigative.
There’s the Georgia Bureau of Investigative, GBI. Connecticut has their own, what we call the BCI.
And when the casinos opened, we branched out and created a casino unit.
And so I was in there and we didn’t try to reinvent the wheel.
We went to Las Vegas and we went to Atlantic City to learn from the law enforcement guys there but how to beat casino cops.
We were troopers. We were doing all kinds of crazy things. I was an accident reconstructionist. I did all kinds of nutty things in my career, as I’m sure you did.
Catching a counterfeiter in the casino with fake tokens
[5:03] And so I was trying to learn to find things. I went to UNLV to take courses on how to investigate company, all the background stuff, really getting into it.
But I developed a great friendship with a guy named Jimmy Flommer in New Jersey.
He was a trooper and a New Jersey detective.
And Jimmy called me one day and said, I’m going to send you an envelope.
I said, well, okay. I just hope it’s not drugs or a gun or something.
And I get this envelope and two tokens fell out from Cedars.
[5:32] And he says, which one’s fake? In a note.
I says, I don’t know. I call him. He said, we’ll find out. So I took it to the slot techs at the casinos, and they weighed them and they measured them and they did all kinds of tests on them.
And they tried running them through machines or whatever. And they came back and said, they’re identical.
And I called Jimmy, I said, they’re identical. He said, no, they’re not.
They’re one’s fake and one’s real.
And if you look, I made a little ding mark on one that that’s the fake one.
I went, it doesn’t make any sense.
So we started developing methods between New Jersey and Connecticut on how to catch this guy who was bringing these fakes in.
My approach to it was that there’s only so many hundred dollar slot tokens in a casino.
[6:17] So we were able to manage an inventory system that would do it every day or every other day when we saw a spike in coins we knew he was there.
Rather than reviewing twenty four hours a day for six weeks.
Which is your number seven a building with a pair of binoculars for a week or a month or is it that’s crazy you go insane doing it so.
[6:40] All the sudden we get a spike of a hundred tokens on a saturday.
So, that meant they were in there on a Friday gaming day or whatever it was, and we reviewed the $100 machines.
And we would see different people playing, but we always kind of saw the same woman.
That was his girlfriend at that time. So she never changed.
He wore disguises, he wore beards and wigs and all that stuff, but she never changed.
So we started narrowing in on New Jersey and Connecticut collaborated, and then we started And working more heavily on catching him live, which they did in New Jersey, we didn’t get him live in Connecticut.
Collaborating with New Jersey authorities to apprehend the suspect
[7:16] I did it all through the warrant process.
But I also involved the secret service because it was a counterfeiting, something worth something of value.
Like the secret service does credit cards, they do money, they do, they also do things like that, coins or tokens.
So I had my local agent involved and a whole bunch of state started just raining warrants down on this guy.
When he was confronted in New Jersey live with coins in a trunk and disguises, I think he had a Andy, did he have a gun? I think he had a gun in a trunk too, I think.
I believe he did, yes. I think he did, yeah. So it was pretty serious.
Once I got the warrant, I called him up for an interview and he was being represented by the former, I think, Attorney General of the state of Rhode Island or the head prosecutor.
[8:02] And he said, come on in for an interview. He goes, no. He says, I don’t like the way they treated me in New Jersey.
[8:10] And i said this a jersey i don’t care what exit you live on this is connecticut we’re more polite here show up just talk to me i got a warrant for you make an appointment.
So goes really i don’t know what day you wanna get arrested i don’t give a shit just come and turn yourself in.
So i want to a bakery in hartford and i got some canoli and i got some espresso i got some scottie and i laid out a little thing on the table.
A lawyer comes in, like with his dukes up, and I said, no, this ain’t like that.
I just want to talk. And we talked for like an hour.
[8:45] And it leaked out to the press. I don’t know who did this at the barracks, but there was a bunch of press. I let him go get the car. We went and took him out back. We treated him like a gentleman.
And we arrested him for all of that, all those things that we arrested him for.
Discovering evidence of counterfeiting in multiple casinos
[8:59] But the one footnote I would make is that when we did the raid at his house, we found evidence that he had counterfeited tokens in about 35 different casinos, including many in Las Vegas.
And he would mail them from Rhode Island to Vegas and pick them up at a PO box.
Not one casino in Vegas ever acknowledged that they were hit by those things. They wouldn’t do it.
And so I went into the corporate security, saw some corporate security guys in Vegas, the guys that work for Steve Wynn and things like that.
And they were all retired agents and FBI agents.
And I asked them, I said, why would they deny this?
And he said, because they got hit a couple of years ago and they were pretty much all put out that if this ever happened again, a lot of guys were going to lose their jobs.
So Vegas denied any involvement with this whole thing, even though we had evidence back in Connecticut of pieces of the molds, the dyes, everything for different casinos.
They just said, nah, they just never really made them out here. We’re not involved.
So it was just kind of a strange turn of events, but you got arrested in Rhode Island and Connecticut and New Jersey, and then we became friends afterwards. Interesting.
[10:05] Yeah. Well, hey guys, now I was reading your manuscript and he connects back to Patriarca and Federal Hill and the whole Providence, Rhode Island mob.
Now, can you give me a little bit of that history and how he connected to them? How close was he?
He wasn’t a made guy, it doesn’t look like, in that family. He never was a made guy.
However, However, as Joe Broadmeadow puts it, Louie the coin, though not a made man, was considered such a great talent, he was part of the inner circle of the Providence office.
[10:40] And I just want to state clearly that when you say you thought it was more, that means you’re from the Providence office, which helped him a lot when he was in jail.
And the Providence office is Raymond Patriarca. One of the things that happened was obviously you make an arrest and when you do a massive raid.
[11:02] Again, Gary, you know about this stuff Yeah, usually the rookie gets to be the evidence guy making all the tags for all the stuff you’re seizing, only thing is we got there and we needed about a dozen of those guys because we filled up a couple of tractor-trailer, trucks with The evidence that we had we had to rent Forklifts and all kinds of crazy things because he had the printing presses and he had barrels full of materials and stuff Turned into a nightmare. But I got lucky.
They sent me out for sandwiches and when I got back, all the crappy jobs had been taken.
So I got to do the Rolodex, his Rolodex off his desk.
[11:37] And in there were the Patriarcha names and Monacchio.
Baby Shank. Baby Shank, yeah. And that’s basically who was running it and the organization at the time. Junior was out in Illinois.
He was in Marion, he was locked up. because I flew out there to interview him.
And he granted me an interview at the federal prison.
And when I got there, I was about to open the door and he goes, nah, I’m just screwing with you. I don’t want to talk to you.
So he made me fly all the way out to Indiana or places.
And then I just went home. Since I had nothing, I just went out for dinner and then I went home.
He was just screwing with me. He gave me an interview and made me fly all the way out there but he wasn’t going to tell me anything. And that was Raymond Patriarca, Jr., right? Junior, yeah. That was junior, yeah.
Louie’s early involvement with selling fake cashmere sweaters
[12:24] Yeah. Well, Louie started at Sherwood Manufacturing, I think, before he went to college.
So he would take field trips to Boston and sell fake cashmere sweaters that would shrink to nothing if you washed them.
It sold to Irish mobsters and then get out of town.
[12:46] The bold guy, I read that in a book. Also, he counterfeited some money early on.
I mean, this guy, it started out he had one of these insurance scams where guys would get these insurance policies that’ll pay you for every day that you’re sick or day you’re in the hospital or something, and he sold a bunch of those and they’re collecting money off of those.
He had one scam after another, and it was all around that Providence Hill area and this S&S bar that he hung out in.
Can you talk about that relationship a little bit? Oh, he would just hang out there and in the book he lists like four or five hitmen who were there at the time and he tells the stories of the demise of some of them.
A couple were just having relationships they weren’t supposed to have with other mobsters, wives or girlfriends and then one got killed because of that and then another one got killed because he thought he was too big, but Louie’s in the room with all of these guys.
It should be noted that he earned a degree in business administration from Providence College.
[13:54] While he was in prison, no doubt. No, no. No. No, during his somewhat legitimate life. As a young man. Oh, really?
Yeah, yeah. He went to college to honor his father. Yeah, one of those hit guys was a guy named Pasquale Galea, and he was a hitter for that mob.
You know he had some importance because he was one of the pallbearers at Patriarcha Senior’s funeral. So he took some pictures.
Encounter with a Killer at Foxwoods
[14:23] And he showed up at Foxwoods, he was playing poker, and I was with one of the assistant commandants of the Rhode Island State Police, who later went on to some fame and fortune or whatever.
And he said, hey, do you know who that guy is with the blue blazer, with the carnation? I go, come on, it’s a movie, right?
I said, he’s got the slick back hair, he’s got the whole nine yards, you can smell the olive oil 10 feet away.
And I said, no, who is he? He goes, he’s a killer for the Patriarchate crime family.
[14:53] So I says, well, let me go talk to him. He goes, no, let me talk to him.
Well, this guy walked over, he patted him on the back. He says, hey, Patsy, did you kill anybody lately?
And the guy turned around and goes, you want me to leave, right?
I go, I don’t, but he does. And I just went, took my knot in my head up and down, and he got up and left, and we never saw him again.
You always have to appreciate those mob guys. They understand the rules.
They know the rules of the game. Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Well, I got to say, before I forget, I actually helped him with one of his scams, and I did it inadvertently. Oh, these guys.
When we became friends, no, that’s not a criminal thing.
He asked me, I sent him some cookies for Christmas when he was in Fort Dix, when he was in prison.
And he called me back on the prison thing, you know, do you accept this call and all that?
I go, yeah. And he goes, hey, can you get any more of those cookies?
I’m getting eight bucks a piece for them.
[15:48] And I said, no, I said they weren’t, they’re not, they weren’t for sale.
You know, just enjoy them. He goes, no, no, no. I sold them all.
Give me some more. No, I can’t. I can’t do that.
I can’t do that. Jerry, what you should have done then is then say, well, you gotta give me a little taste here.
Give me a piece of the action. That’s his world. Give me a little, yeah, give me two bucks back, sure.
He understands that. Yeah, that guy, he was a consummate, consummate criminal.
It seemed to me like constantly looking for scams.
And I guess the mob, the patriarchy family, probably they must’ve got a little taste of that in some ways.
I don’t know. Did that ever come out and how they were getting a piece of that action?
[16:31] Or were they doing anything for him at all or just letting him hang around?
Because he was an interesting, fun guy.
Well, he bought a press in Italy, a 150-ton press that was used to mint the coins. And he didn’t buy that.
Somebody else bought that. I see. Okay. They financed that operation.
I got to imagine they probably got the lion’s share of the whatever profits there were. Yeah. But Jerry estimated it was up to $4 million, right?
Yeah. I mean, that’s just based on looking in the barrels, the garbage, to see how many coins had been minted or printed and then guesstimating based on if you played $100 slot machine for a half an hour free, what would you make in profit?
And we were trying to do all these algorithms and trying to figure out what it was, but it was in the millions.
It was definitely in the millions because if you could play a slot machine for free all day long, you’re going to make some money.
[17:25] Interesting. Because, like a lot of them, they’ve taken the whole coin thing out of it and you just stick a credit card in there and you get the ticket and you take the ticket over to the, but they still have, I think they still have some coin operated or.
Check operated machines and so there is a different search to find those check operated machines are token operated machines.
All of our machines at the time were okay and so why didn’t you just take a big hand for a go over and go to the cage and just get cash back for.
Do you want to turn on the night of the night directly or.
[18:04] This was a job for him this is a sport. Ah, interesting.
Yeah, he wanted to play. He just wanted to play for free. You got to remember, when you’re out there playing, you’re also getting free room, you’re getting comps, you’re getting limousines, all that stuff, so. No, we don’t.
[18:21] We used to have fun showing all the certified letters you got from around the country, banning him from casinos.
Yeah. And then one night, I went to the Twin River Casino in Rhode Island with some friends to see the fights, and we get invited to the VIP room by Louie, so I guess he wasn’t an answer there.
Still got some pull in those casinos, because it looked like he was a big player, didn’t it? Yeah.
So, what, was he a tool and die maker? Was he creating those molds?
He was a metallurgist. He was like a reverse engineer.
He was a jeweler. He did orthotics. He made fake statues of, was it David’s Pieta?
Yeah, I saw that. In the New York World’s Fair.
He got them blessed by a phony priest and said they were certified by the Vatican.
Yeah, I remember reading that about this Dean’s sales. It must have been like a smorgasbord or a merchandise mart of stolen property, jewelry and those statues and anything you could think of, counterfeit watches and counterfeit clothes and all that. It must have been something.
He was once a Lamborghini dealer in Rhode Island.
Fake Sports Cars and Metallurgical Testing
[19:47] Oh yeah, I read about those sports cars he was making. He was making fake sports cars, dude. Selling them for a lot of money.
It was crazy getting a Pontiac. One of the things that he did that impressed me was he crushed up some actual tokens and sent them out for metallurgical testing to see what the composite materials were made of.
And we were very deep into the investigation about the slam it closed.
And we found out that the place he was buying most of his stock from was about a quarter of a mile from my back door in my office. It was in Wallingford, Connecticut.
I could see, we’re on a hill, I could almost see the place where he was buying the material.
So, yeah, it was a good one. But he. You had to do the right weight, the right color, the right combination of materials.
Yeah. There wasn’t a very sophisticated system in the slot machines back then, but they did go through a tester.
When the coins go through, there’s a coin tester there that kind of shoots a little, I think it shoots a little jolt of electricity in there to see if it’s authentic, if it’s going through the right way.
He had his own testers at his house, and he would test the materials using all that equipment that’s in a slot machine.
[20:58] So, I guess that begs the question, how did the casino people ever figure it out? I mean, I could see where that could go on for years.
I think it did go on for years. I think that if New Jersey hadn’t called me, we probably would have got creamed in Connecticut a lot more than we did.
So how did they figure it out? Somebody ratted him out, or they started looking for him, and if they’re the same exact die, Right. Whatever.
An extended audit at a casino in New Jersey said, they went to party A and said, hey Joe, we’re supposed to have $5,000, tokens. He goes, yeah, so what? He goes, we have $13,000.
Suspicious Inventory Discrepancy
[21:45] Did you order any? Oh, I see. You didn’t order any.
I got you now. Yeah, the inventory, then they said, well, check the fives.
They said, well, we’re supposed to have 20,000 fives. He goes, we got 32,000 fives.
So they built up over a long period of time. He was hitting the same places over and over again.
And they were able to determine after surveillance and everything else that they would clean machines out completely.
[22:08] And then he would put coins in. And if you hit something and the machine was empty, it calls the slot attendant. it.
And they go on, you know, saying that a million times, you poured a bag of coins in there to fill it back up.
But they were doing that so that they suspected that those tokens that they were getting were counterfeit.
And when they were kind of certain that they did, that’s when they sent me one and they were kind of on the trail already.
But I’ll tell you what, to prove it, I had to take his die where he was minting our coins, send them to the place where where he had the coins minted.
And they minted coins, and then they used his dyes and minted coins.
And then they had their geniuses look at it and say, this is off by a hair.
This is off by hair. And we had to sit in the basement of the casino with 12 microscopes, looking, we had charts up on the wall that were like three feet across, these big charts.
Look at the end of the nose comes to a point instead of around it, look for this, look at this.
This letter is askew or whatever, by a hair. And that’s what we were looking for to pull the stock out of the inventory.
Yeah, it’d be a little bit like a bullet comparing bullets, right?
Find a different little striation, just something that’s different.
Something’s exactly the same, right? But that’s double microscope thing.
Sure. But that’s having somebody hand you 30,000 bullets.
The Casino Conspiracy and Racketeering Charges
[23:27] I can see. So the last, the casino, I mean, I guess he was, I don’t know.
I have a hard time getting my mind around this.
Maybe you can- Yeah, you don’t know. Nobody will ever know.
[23:42] First off, what was the crime, I guess?
A counterfeiting. I understand counterfeiting, but somebody has to be a victim.
And how are they a victim? Like you steal something from me, I’m the victim.
Like you use a credit card, the credit card company’s a victim many times.
So they’re the exact victim.
So the casino is the victim, but what did they lose?
Right. So the charges came down federally to conspiracy and the racketeering type charges, that it was an ongoing criminal enterprise.
Each state, we had to prove that there was a loss, even if it was a couple of hundred dollars in this casino.
And then obviously with the raid, with a warrant, when you find a manufacturing plant, which has the remnants of tokens from 30 or 40 casinos, the conspiracy all got locked up together.
So I think he did a light time for what, you know, what he did.
He only, I think he only did six.
Maybe six years. You did two years at Fort Dix.
Out of six. I think it was a six-year, maybe a six-year. Right, maybe two out of six or seven.
Yeah. And when he went there, he was greeted by an army vet, and the guy said to him, you thought it was more. That’s how he greeted him.
Louis’ Adventures and Business Ventures Behind Bars
[25:01] And then Louis ultimately moved into a nice accommodation with some guys with the pizza connection and would stage brawls in the dining area to distract the guards and that’s when they would steal the best food from the kitchen.
He also used to customize the glasses for the mob guys.
He would do custom glass jobs, like put rhinestones in them or something like that, or initials or whatever. Oh yeah.
And then I was talking to him one night, because I used to call him randomly, and I’d say, where are you? And he goes, Ohio. I go, what are you doing? He goes, nothing.
I go, why the hell would a guy from Rhode Island go to Ohio for nothing?
So anyway, I said, what are you up to these days?
He goes, you know how much money I made on that copy machine at that prison?
I said, what are you talking about? He goes, I didn’t tell you about that. I said, what?
He goes, me and two of the guards and some whatever, we would unplug the copy machine and any of the prisoners wanted to use it. They had to give us a couple of cigarettes.
And then we’d plug it back in. He had a copy machine business on the side. He was into everything.
The Mysterious Crime of Counterfeit Coins
[26:13] Yeah, he was just a consummate scammer, wasn’t he? A consummate guy that’s looking for the angle.
And it should have been, you thought it was more. I guess, I’m wrapping my mind around this crime of the counterfeit coins.
Right. I understand counterfeit money. And you go buy goods, or mainly what they do is they go in and they use a $50 bill and then get $40 and change back in good money.
I understand that. Or you have a dope guy that’ll take $50,000 in counterfeit, hundreds and buy dope with it.
I understand that. But the counterfeit coins, he’s playing them. He was winning.
But usually, you put more in than you win in the end, I guess.
I don’t know, did he ever calculate how, if he ever came out ahead and with their coins and then turned them in for money or?
[27:09] Well yeah it’s all estimation the fraud comes in with the same thing if you go up to a.
Brand name soda machine and you put in a couple of electrical box knockouts and use them as slugs and take the soda.
[27:24] You just counterfeited something of value. Whether it’s a coupon for a store, if you get a free turkey at some store and you print up 10 coupons and you go and you get 10 free turkeys, you really did a fraud.
Now that’s a very small thing, you’re not going to go to jail for getting a free turkey, but what I’m saying is you’re creating a thing that has value.
Once it’s established in a machine, you’ve made a contract with the state, once you pull the handle, that if you win, they pay you and if you lose, they keep the money. Those are actual contractual things that are happening.
Every time you do it, it’s a contract, right? So that’s why even here, I’ve had people win jackpots and they run because they’re on parole or they owe their wife money or whatever it is, right? It’s a contract with the state.
Then you have the girlfriend sitting in the boyfriend’s lap and she pulls the handle and wins a jackpot. It’s his money. No, she won.
[28:20] She committed the contract. She completed the contract with us.
So it’s in the fine details, I guess, that how the fraud happens, but there was tons, literally tons of evidence that you’ve been doing it a long time and making money because how could you not when you’re playing for free, basically?
Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. I mean, all the comps, everything that he got as part of the contract. Right. You get that.
Okay. I get it, but it’s, I don’t know how you explain that to a jury of his peers, but I guess somebody obviously did.
I have to take my hat off to the prosecutor to explain that one. Yeah, yeah.
The Legacy and Demise of a Scam Artist
[28:54] So what’s he doing now? Is he still alive?
[28:58] He died a couple summers ago, and the New York Times ran his obit.
[29:04] You miss him. He’s just a funny guy to hang out with. Yeah, I can imagine.
Yeah, he was a friend of mine. It just sounds weird, but he was. I know.
I’ve got a good friend today that we helped put in jail on a narcotics charge in 92. So I meet with him about every week.
He’s funny, and we talk the same language, you know.
I know people that he knows pretty well, and I’m one of the few people he can talk to, because he’s straight now, and talk about that stuff.
And I will understand what he’s talking about, because he doesn’t really want to go back and just chat up with some of his old buddies in life.
So you’re kind of the same way. I understand that.
You know, after he got out, he did it again. And he was getting older.
And an investigator, a peer of mine from the other casino, I’m at Mohegan Sun, this other guy’s at Foxwoods.
We got a call from Rhode Island State Police that said, hey, Mr. Colavecchio is up to his old tricks again.
And they said, what do we look for? Can we see a copy of your warrant?
Because, you know, the body of the warrant determines what they’ll let you take, what you’re looking for.
So all the boilerplate that we use for our warrants for all these materials, we gave to the Rhode Island State Police.
Evidently, he asked some kid on the street to help him move some stuff, and the kid was an informant and ratted him out. So they went and they raided the place.
They took all his stuff, and the judge dismissed the case. He says, he didn’t make anything yet.
So they got him too early.
Andy’s Criminal Past and Counterfeit Money
[30:30] So that went nowhere. But yeah, and then he ultimately, right, Andy, before he died, he went away again for doing counterfeit money.
Yeah, I mean, Louie was arrested many times and he would always get probation.
Even when he tested positive for cocaine at age 77, he told the court, I only used it for sex.
Counterfeiting and Ill Health
[30:56] But then he got caught cooking up 40 grand to hundreds in his apartment in Pawtucket, and he had to go to that place where Madoff is. and he was a nobody there and he was in very, very bad health.
I didn’t realize how ill he was at the time, but he had everything that could go wrong with you.
One last question, I guess. He was able to make these hundreds with all those security precautions that are on these bills today, good enough that they’d pass in some places?
I don’t know about the quality, but that’s what he did time for.
Yeah, he got a compassionate release at the end. When he was dying, they didn’t want him to die in prison.
So they let him out two weeks before he died.
Die on your own dime. Exactly.
A lot of those guys, we’ve got a mob guy here in Kansas City.
They got one of those about a year ago, and he seems to be going strong.
Actually, we’ve got two of them, and they seem to be going strong today.
All right, guys, the name of the book is You Thought It Was More.
[32:09] Louis Colavecchio wrote this, who is the guy who thought it was more.
He was a consummate criminal connected to the Patriarcha family in Providence, Rhode Island.
And he has a hell of a story about counterfeiting the coin, the checks, or the tokens you put into slot machines with Andy Thiebaud and Jerry Longo is here who worked the case, retired from the Connecticut State Police.
So guys, I really appreciate you coming on and talking about Louis the coin.
It’s a heck of an interesting story and I’ll have links to your book down in the show notes.
Got any last words?
[32:54] I was just going to say, if you’re interested in law enforcement, I’ve got a state police museum in Meriden, Connecticut, and I’ve got one of the microscopes.
I’ve got the tokens. I’ve got the fake chips.
I’ve got the last, we used to take Polaroid shots of pictures.
Remember, taking Polaroids over Polaroids, that kind of stuff?
And I got a surveillance photo of him and his girlfriend, the last photo taken of him before he got arrested, and he autographed it for me, Louis the Coin. So I’ve got that in the museum too.
So if you want to come see it, it’s in Connecticut. Just look us up.
What city in Connecticut?
It’s in Meriden, Connecticut. Meriden. All right. Cool. Gary’s got a nice exhibit there.
And we’re number 800 in line at the Mott Museum for consideration.
Andy’s work on the skim and various houses
[33:39] All right. All right. Andy, you got any last words there for us?
I’ve just been learning about your work on the skim and the various houses that you visited. So I’m going to read up on that. All right.
For us, we’ve got some cool videos and links for pre-orders at louisthecoinbook.com.
There’s a video of Jerry telling how he misses Louis there.
All right, we’ll have that link in the show notes too. All right, guys, I really appreciate you coming on the show. It’s been fun.
Thanks so much. Thank you.
Hey guys, now don’t forget I like to ride motorcycles, so watch out for motorcycles when you’re out there on the streets.
And if you have a problem with PTSD and you’ve been in the service, go to the VA website.
They’ve got a hotline just for PTSD and if you’ve got a problem with drugs or alcohol you know our friend former Gambino soldier Anthony Ruggiano is a drug and alcohol counselor and he has a hotline on his website so search around for Anthony Ruggiano and you’ll find that he’s got a YouTube channel too.
So thanks a lot guys and don’t forget to like and subscribe and check us out next week. Thanks a lot.