(Photos Courtesy of The Mob Museum)
THE MOB MUSEUM TO CELEBRATE 10th ANNIVERSARY MILESTONE WITH “UNDERCOVER OF THE NIGHT” GALA HONORING RETIRED UNDERCOVER AGENTS FEB. 17
In conjunction with its 10th anniversary, The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, invites guests to its “Undercover of the Night” Gala presented by the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation at the Museum’s historic location in downtown Las Vegas. The evening will be co-chaired by City of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and former City of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman.
The event will celebrate a decade of accomplishments as well as pay special tribute to a number of undercover law enforcement agents and will honor a pioneering undercover agent whose work resulted in more than 200 convictions infiltrating the Bonanno and Colombo crime families in New York during the ’70s. This special honoree is widely considered to be one of the top undercover federal agents in history whose work was the basis of a best-selling book and a feature film nominated for an Academy Award. The evening will also feature special meet-and-greets and photo opportunities with other true-life undercover agents.
Guests are invited to purchase “Special Agent” tickets, which include gourmet action stations and delectable desserts, specialty cocktails, luxury auction items and live entertainment. In classic Mob Museum fashion, guests will also enjoy exhibits and meet a number of undercover agents–if you can find them.
Gala Co-Chair – Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman
Carolyn G. Goodman, elected to her third term in 2019, became the mayor of Las Vegas in 2011, succeeding her husband, then current mayor, Oscar B. Goodman. Carolyn Goodman has devoted much of her life to volunteerism in Las Vegas and holds national leadership roles as a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and also serves on the board of directors of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Gala Co-Chair – Oscar B. Goodman
Known for his trademark, no-nonsense style, Oscar B. Goodman served as mayor of Las Vegas for 12 years before swearing in his wife, Carolyn G. Goodman, as mayor in 2011. Passionate about downtown revitalization, Oscar Goodman is the primary visionary of The Mob Museum.
Retired Undercover Agents and Special Gala Guests:
Weysan Dun, FBI
Weysan Dun was a Special Agent of the FBI for 30 years. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest serving incumbent Special Agent in Charge, having consecutively served as the chief executive of three FBI field offices. He is an FBI certified Intelligence Officer and an FBI certified Undercover Agent who worked under deep cover for two years. He is a lifetime member of the FBI Agents Association and the American Legion FBI Memorial Post 56.
Louis Diaz, DEA
Louis Diaz is a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was largely responsible for the arrest and conviction of Leroy Nicky Barnes a.k.a. “Mr. Untouchable.” He was also instrumental in dismantling Barnes’ entire drug trafficking organization known as the “Council.” As an undercover agent, he also brought down members of the Medellin Cartel. Diaz is also an author and actor, who has participated in many major television series and Hollywood films under the pseudonym Lou Casal.
Patricia Naughton, DEA
Patricia Naughton is a 27-year law enforcement veteran. After graduating from Indiana University in 1974, she started her career as one of the first female police officers in the state. In 1978, she joined the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the one percent of female agents. Her first assignment was investigating illicit drug labs. She went on to work undercover in outlaw motorcycle gangs and the Mafia. In 1985 she became the first female weapons instructor for the DEA and a repeat instructor at the FBI training center at Quantico where she taught both FBI and DEA agents
Deborah Richard, FBI
Deborah Richard began her career in law enforcement as one of the first female patrol officers and detectives in Southern California where she also worked criminal undercover assignments. In 1976, she was recruited by the FBI as the 67th woman, out of the first 100 women, hired by the FBI. She was assigned to the Las Vegas Division where she worked numerous criminal and organized crime investigations including the investigation of Tony Spilotro, his associates and connections to the Kansas City Mob. Deborah separated from the FBI in 1986, but was asked to rejoin, and at the age of 45 became the oldest woman to complete the FBI Academy.
Giovanni Rocco, FTO
Giovanni Rocco was an undercover law enforcement officer who spent most of his twenty-six-year career as a member of state and federal task forces targeting organized crime. The culminating role of his service was the successful infiltration of the DeCavalcante Mafia family, the organization known as “The Real Sopranos.” At the conclusion of this landmark investigation, Giovanni retired from law enforcement and moved his family to a location that remains undisclosed.
Frank Panessa, DEA
Frank Panessa was a Drug Enforcement Administration agent for 28 years. He had numerous undercover roles in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Central America. He infiltrated the Sicilian Mafia in the infamous “Pizza Connection” case that resulted in the conviction of high-level Sicilian wholesale distributor of heroin. He also served in the U.S. Embassy in Rome as the government’s chief liaison to Italian police agencies. He worked as a licensed private detective in Maryland from 1998 to 2010.
Howard Blank, Auctioneer
Howard Blank has been a member of the gaming, media and entertainment industry for over 30 years and has enjoyed an extensive broadcast career. Howard is CEO of Point Blank Entertainment Ltd. and consults as a fundraising and event expert with numerous philanthropic organizations and event producers. Howard is proud to give his time and talent at a number of not for profit events each year. To date, Howard has helped raise over $900,000,000 for organizations across Canada and in the USA.
JJ Snyder, Master of Ceremonies
JJ Snyder is the dynamic host of the Las Vegas Morning Blend on ABC Ch. 13. She developed a passion for journalism working on America’s Most Wanted with John Walsh and went on to join On The Red Carpet on ABC as a national correspondent covering Hollywood movie premieres. She’s on the board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Las Vegas FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association.
Thursday, Feb. 17
The Mob Museum
300 Stewart Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Special Agent Ticket: Admission at 7 p.m. to Undercover of the Night Gala.; gourmet action stations, specialty cocktails, luxury auction items, live entertainment and meet-and-greet and photo opportunities with undercover agents. $250
SPONSORS AND PARTNERS:
- Presenting Sponsor: Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation
- Deep Cover Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig
- Operative Sponsor: Ernst & Young
- Liaison Sponsors: Levy Production Group, Brown & Brown, Paragon Gaming, Bennett Family Foundation
- Liquor Sponsor: Johnson Brothers
- Hotel Partner: Golden Nugget
ABOUT THE MOB MUSEUM
The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, provides a world-class journey through true stories—from the birth of the Mob to today’s headlines. The Mob Museum offers a provocative, contemporary look at these topics through hundreds of artifacts and immersive storylines. Numerous interactive exhibits include a Crime Lab, Firearm Training Simulator and Organized Crime Today exhibit. The Museum is also home to The Underground, a Prohibition history exhibition featuring a speakeasy and distillery. The Mob Museum has accumulated numerous accolades, including being named one of TripAdvisor’s “Top 25 U.S. Museums;” one of Las Vegas Weekly’s “Twenty Greatest Attractions in Las Vegas History” and “Best Museum” by its 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards; one of National Geographic’s “Top 10 Things to Do in Las Vegas;” USA Today’s “Best Museum in Nevada,” 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards for “Best Las Vegas Attraction” in 2021, “Top Five Best History Museums in the United States” in 2021 and one of its “12 Can’t Miss U.S. Museum Exhibits;” named “A Must for Travelers” by The New York Times and one of “20 Places Every American Should See” by FOX News. The Museum is a two-time winner of the Mayor’s Urban Design Award for Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Museum is open daily; visit the website for admission rates and operating hours. For more information, call (702) 229-2734, visit themobmuseum.org, or download the Museum’s free mobile app.