Courant Staff Writers Courant Staff Writers Daniela Altimari and Carolyn Moreau contributed to this report.
Organized-crime investigators raided the homes of failed sports agent John Lounsbury and convicted racketeer Lawrence A. DiBenedetto this week in their search for evidence of illegal gambling.
Lounsbury's Wolcott home and DiBenedetto's
residences were among two of the 18 homes and businesses raided late Monday by more than 120 local, state and federal investigators. Michael T. O'Brien was arrested in his
home, as he tried to destroy evidence. O'Brien was convicted with DiBenedetto on federal racketeering charges in the 1970s.
Police declined to say whether Lounsbury, who admitted to
rules violations in his dealings with area basketball stars
, or DiBenedetto, are targets in the investigation.
Officers seized gambling and business records, money, cars, guns, computers and drugs during their searches. Investigators now are sorting through the haul to develop arrest warrants, a process expected to take several weeks.
Police Lt. Charles McIntyre, commander of the State Organized Crime Investigative Task Force, said they are considering gambling and racketeering charges.
A list of search locations released by police on Wednesday included the addresses of Lounsbury's home in Wolcott and DiBenedetto's home in Wethersfield. McIntyre declined to identify individual targets of the probe or say which items were seized where. Warrants remained sealed as the investigation continues.
Reached Wednesday, Lounsbury declined to discuss the search of the split-level ranch house at 46 Woodward Road he shares with his wife and their four young children. He has denied betting on sports or being involved in professional gambling.
In July, he told the
Globe that he had given as much as $40,000 to Camby and his friends when the Hartford native was a star at the University of
. The payments cost UMass its share of revenue from its 1996
Lounsbury also gave $200 and a pager to Ray Allen in an unsuccessful attempt to recruit the University of
star. Lounsbury, who filed for bankruptcy last December, has surrendered his
player agent license and embarked on a career in real estate.
DiBenedetto, of 27 Olney Drive, Wethersfield, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
He was an associate in the Hartford rackets operated in the 1970s by O'Brien and Anthony Volpe.
O'Brien, Volpe and DiBenedetto, the main defendants in a federal crackdown on organized crime in Hartford, were convicted on federal racketeering charges in 1977.
O'Brien, 55, who lives on North Condor Drive in Rocky Hill, became the only individual arrested in the raids when he was charged with interfering with a search and destroying evidence.
The surprise simultaneous searches in 10 towns, coordinated with military-style precision out of state police headquarters in
, came more than six months into an investigation of gambling and racketeering by the state task force, assisted by the
, Internal Revenue Service and police in Rocky Hill and
Officers seized reams of documents, more than $120,000 in cash and checks, several pounds of marijuana, and cars including a Jaguar and a Porsche.
Addresses searched by police on Monday:
1381 Wilbur Cross Parkway, Berlin
510 Stafford Ave., 5B,
100 Wells St., Apt. 419, Hartford
68A Sycamore Lane, Manchester
22 Clemens Court, Rocky Hill
4 Little Oak Lane, Rocky Hill
183 N. Condor Drive, Rocky Hill
58 Hilltop (Town View Condominiums),
143 Pine Hill Road, 23C,
104 Fairmont St., 2nd Floor,
653 Woodtick Road, Waterbury
2645 Albany Ave., West Hartford
Ave., West Hartford
138 N. Quaker Lane, West Hartford
100 Executive Square, Wethersfield, Apt. 205
27 Olney Drive, Wethersfield
12 Niles Road, Windsor