Interview of Former Special Agent of the FBI Roger T. Young ( ) Interviewed by Clarence H. Campbell On Wednesday, July 18, 2007

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1 Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, Inc Interview of Former Special Agent of the FBI Roger T. Young ( ) Interviewed by Clarence H. Campbell On Wednesday, Edited for spelling, repetitions, etc. by Sandra Robinette on August 24, Indexed and corrected by Sandra Robinette on May 13, Larry Campbell/ Today is Wednesday,. My name is Clarence H. Campbell. I will be the interviewer and my nick name is Larry. We will be going by that. I am at my home here in San Diego and our interviewee, Roger T. Young, is a retired Special Agent. Roger tells me the T stands for Truman, who is a favorite of both of ours. He is a cousin of President Harry S. Truman. Roger s FBI service began on November 2, 1975 and ended on June 31, 2001, and he is presently in the consulting business. What we thought we would do now that Roger has filled out the copyright release and background form, we will start off with how Roger decided to become an agent. He is also the son of an agent and basically has carried on his father s legacy in the area of pornography investigations. So, Roger, I am going to turn it over to you and why don t you let them know how you decided to get into this business. Roger T. Young/ Thank you, Larry. Yes, I was striving to be a major university football coach and then realized that that didn t go along with being a family man, and at age 30 changed careers to the great enjoyment of my father. I have three brothers so my parents had four sons. Not until I graduated from the FBI Academy did my dad finally say that he was always hoping that one of his sons would follow in his footsteps. At age 30 changed careers and was afforded the opportunity to become an FBI agent. I was interviewed in Los Angeles by, at that time. Assistant Director Elmer Linberg and then entered on duty on November 2 nd at the Academy.

2 Page 2 Following the Academy, I was assigned to the San Francisco Division for approximately five years and after being there just a short time, maybe 2 ½ years, just by chance began working pornography and prostitution and sexual exploitation of children. Of course at that time there were no laws at all regarding children federally. Everything had to be used. The obscenity laws and the adult laws had to be used when it came to children both in obscenity and prostitution. In fact the only law really that pertained to children was the Mann Act or White Slave Traffic Act, that if a female was involved and was under age it was just double the penalty when it came to sentencing. It was very interesting that a case came along that was pornography and child prostitution combined. The supervisor wanted someone to take the case and of course no one volunteered and so he said, Hey, Roger, how about you try this one. Well, of course, then every case that came along, and I was on the Organized Crime Squad at the time because that is where pornography and prostitution and sexual exploitation of children came under that program. So every case that came along then I was assigned to work those cases. From October of 1977 until I retired, the majority of my work in the FBI and the expertise I developed was in those areas. The investigation of obscenity or pornography and prostitution and the sexual exploitation of children and I saw many changes. What was interesting, just to back up a little bit, was that my dad was at the FBI Academy and presented me with my credentials when I graduated. What s interesting now is my niece, Heather Young, is an agent and I was at the Academy and presented her with her credentials also. She is assigned to the San Jose Division, I mean the San Francisco Division in San Jose right now. But at any rate, I had known that my father was very much involved in investigation of pornography. In the early years, the early 1960 s when organized crime got involved in pornography in a big way and established a west coast base of operations in the San Fernando Valley just north of Los Angeles. Which in law enforcement circles is now known as the Porn Valley because probably almost 86% of all the pornography in the world in produced and distributed from the San Fernando Valley. And hence we have a new FBI squad there that just works on the violation of the pornographers not keeping proper records according to the Federal law, Title 18 US Code

3 Page 3 At any rate, five years in San Francisco working obscenity, prostitution and sexual exploitation of children, I was there when the Federal law was passed in [I] had one of the early cases which was a very large case at the time, using the new Federal law that involved a case called All American Studios. All American Studios involved two men who had a mail order business involving 5,000 customers, 26 countries, including throughout the United States. They traveled to Mexico and to other countries gathering boys, taking photographs, having sex with them. They were doing two mailings a week and making about a million dollars a year. Child pornography was a part of their other types of bizarre pornography and adult pornography. At any rate that case came to fruition, and those two gentlemen received the stiffest penalties ever received at that time in the San Francisco area for those involved in child pornography. After five years in San Francisco, then I was transferred to Las Vegas. What year? That would have been After coming to Las Vegas, I was involved with the Special Operations Group, still helping agents and still teaching out of the City of Las Vegas as a police instructor, for the investigation of obscenity, prostitution and sexual exploitation of children. The ASAC at the time brought me into the office after being out on the SOG and specifically he said, You watched Reuben Sturman move into San Francisco and open up pornography stores there, and he is in Las Vegas and your job on the Organized Crime Squad, we brought you in to the Organized Crime Squad, and your job is to get Reuben Sturman. How do you spell the last name? S-T-U-R-M-A-N and R-E-U-B-E-N, Reuben. Reuben Sturman. I started doing that investigation in Las Vegas, actually the case was opened in December 1980 by another agent anticipating me coming into the office, and I took over the case then in January. Let s take that back. It was December of 1982, the agent opened the case and then I was assigned the case in January of

4 Page 4 Little did I know at the time that he was considered was one of the largest most prolific distributors of pornography in our country. As he grew, and as the case went on, I learned through the Attorney General s Commission on Pornography; that would be Attorney General Edwin Meese, the Meese Commission, that traveled throughout our country for a year and, then in July of 1986, came out with the final report identifying Reuben Sturman as the wealthiest most prolific distributor of pornography in the history of the world. As we went through the investigation, I discovered from various sources that were hand carrying Sturman s skim money from his pornography operations throughout the United States and foreign countries and, from Richard N. Rosfelder who was the IRS agent simultaneously working : Spell his name. It s R-O-S-F-E-L-D-E-R. So Richard N. Rosfelder who was the IRS agent in Cleveland, Ohio, had been working Reuben Sturman. He started the case a few years before I was assigned the case. With great cooperation, he was on the Organized Crime Strike Force in Cleveland, Ohio, and with great cooperation from him, and he and me working together along with many others. There was a great deal of intelligence information and witnesses that were developed and Reuben Sturman s routes of picking up his skim money and discovery of him hiding $10 million in Swiss bank accounts in Switzerland. The trial then of Reuben Sturman was, the IRS trial in Cleveland was in During that trial Reuben Sturman had his wife attempt to go to bed with one of the male jurors and, through a series of defense attorneys, tried to pay the judge a little over a half a million dollars during the trial. Following the IRS trial and conviction by the way of Reuben Sturman and Ralph Levine, who was running the state of Nevada for Reuben Sturman, and was his area manager. Reuben Sturman s son, also convicted in the IRS trial, was involved. I would like for you to kind of expand on that. The defense attorney actually went to the judge? I mean that was pretty blatant. The defense attorney who was defending Sturman went through a couple of defense attorneys in a round-about way to try to get over a half a million dollars to the judge. 4

5 Page 5 How did the judge respond? The judge; evidently the person who they approached to give it to the judge, notified the judge and the judge notified the Strike Force. Of course the judge never took the bribe, never took the money. Of course Sturman was convicted along with Ralph Levine and Sturman s son at the time. That didn t come up as an issue? That came up as a separate issue. So it was not an issue at the trial, it was separate. It was handled afterwards. Sturman was given a very severe penalty as a result during the sentencing phase. Then in 1992 we had the What was his penalty? His penalty, I believe, was millions of dollars and maybe up to 20 years I think. So he went to jail? He went to jail. Then we had the trial in Las Vegas on interstate transportation of obscene matter, conspiracy and racketeering in Of course Rosfelder came to testify in our trial as did Jim Larkin the case agent in Cleveland, Ohio, for the FBI. Jim Larkin did a lot of work on the Sturman case. This Sturman case nationally was designated a major case code named Blue Darcy. It was designated major case 95. Jim Larkin was the national coordinator in the FBI Office in Cleveland. I was doing the work in Nevada. Sturman was not only prosecuted in Nevada but several of his people, employees, area managers were prosecuted in Texas. Jim Larkin was very much involved in doing the investigation and keeping up on the films that were being distributed, interstate, that were found to be obscene. This guy, Sturman, I guess had been around for quite some time and nobody had ever been able to put him away, just exactly how did you guys do it? Through his hiding his money with the IRS or was it, did you have tapes or surveillances or what? 5

6 Page 6 What happened in this case was that, you know I had some sources developed in San Francisco from being there when Sturman moved into the pornography stores in San Francisco. Then having come to Las Vegas, then started doing surveillances and identifying employees of seven stores and two x-rated theatres there that Sturman was operating. Also he had one in Reno, the Virginia Street Book Store. So just by doing surveillances and approaching these people and an agent just before me had met a person who had went to work and was an employee at one of the major stores, Talk of the Town Adult Book Store in Las Vegas. Two sources that I developed where I could corroborate what they were saying unbeknownst to each other. Of course they didn t know they were sources but so development of informants and good sources inside and then surveillances and just identifying all the stores and watching how they pick up the money from the peep show booths and how they bring it in. Then when Sturman comes in and how he picks up his skim money or how it is sent to him. Great advantage when it came to doing search warrants, we had a complete floor plan and we knew where all the safes were in the floor, hidden safes. We knew where their supply, their huge stock of hard core films and other sexual devices were kept that supplied, not only in Nevada but were shipped all over other parts of the United States from Las Vegas. So Las Vegas was kind of a hub, not just a porno store. It was a huge warehouse also. Also it was a complete peep show operation of money coming in and being skimmed. All the other sexual devices, besides the video tapes and so forth. You mentioned Las Vegas. While I was in Las Vegas speaking to that chapter, I picked up a book about Tony Spilotro and the mob. He was the mob s man in Vegas. Was he involved also with this Sturman guy or did they have any OC contacts? Tony knew to have hands off because Sturman s juice was Robert D. Bernardo known as Debe (D-E-B-E) from the Gambino family. So that was his juice and Sturman answered to Robert D. Bernardo. Debe was one of the people John Gotti was accused of killing. One of the five that he ordered killed. But Sturman learned a lot from the mob, and it was the Gambino family that Sturman had his juice. 6

7 Page 7 There was one sit-down Sturman had to have where some other people of course who were controlled in the San Fernando Valley by the Gambino family who was the most influential family in pornography, in the pornography rackets. But anyway Sturman was late on a payment and wasn t going to pay because he said the quality of the films he got were poor. Debe picked him up and said, Come on, we ve got to go see Etore Zappi. He is deceased now but he was in charge of pornography nationwide for the Gambino family out of Ft. Lauderdale, Etore Zappi. So Sturman had a sit down with Zappi and brought to him by Robert D. Bernardo. Zappi wanted to know why he hadn t paid, and he told Zappi it was just poor quality. Of course Zappi said, I would appreciate if you would pay your debts right away. And Sturman said he would take care of it and did pay the pornographer in the San Fernando Valley. It was about almost a year late on his payment for shipment of films to Sturman s business. Did you ever actually have any 302 interviews with Sturman? Just give us a little about how the guy reacted and whether he thought he was going to beat the rap or what. There were many times when Sturman thought he was untouchable. He had been arrested since the early 60 s until the IRS trial in 89 and our trial in 92; he had been arrested twelve different times and had beaten it every time for one reason or another. Even during the MIPORN sting operation that the FBI did nationwide of 54 national pornographers, where two FBI agents were undercover from 1977 to 1980 and then on Valentine s Day, February 14, 1980, we executed 54 simultaneous search warrants across the United States. Even in that one, he was able to not get convicted because the agent that did the primary work with him and wore the body recorders had the identity crisis and had been arrested for shop lifting. That was only one or two or three of the MIPORN cases that were not successfully prosecuted and resulted in convictions. But he thought he was untouchable. Every time his attorney of course was fighting defensive attorneys. He had a battery of attorneys were fighting our indictment against Sturman in Las Vegas. We had an indictment, then a superseding indictment and then a second superseding indictment as we kept adding charges and putting more of his businesses into the racketeering part for forfeiture to the government. 7

8 Page 8 As a result, he and I would have conversations in the hallway, and he would wear a cowboy hat or a mask or dark glasses and show up and the press would make a big thing out of it in Las Vegas. Even during trial, before trial, he would come over a talk to me and say, How s your dad, how s your dad doing? He is a fine gentleman. I really respected him. In fact, right before the trial, my dad passed away in In the trial of 92 he comes over and before the trial starts he puts his hand on my shoulder and asks me how my father was. I said, Fine. He is better off than both of us. He said, Well great. Tell him hi for me. I always respected him. He was always a straight shooter with the FBI. Had you dad tried to go after him too? Yes. He watched Sturman s relatives in fact move into the San Fernando Valley and watched Sturman come out. He surveilled Sturman, come out to the San Fernando Valley. Of course the area managers, he had investigated and knew they were all connected to Sturman. He had never really gone after Sturman in a case specifically where Sturman was the subject. The day you got the conviction on Sturman when the verdict came in, did you ever think about your dad looking down and saying, Way to go, son. That type of thing. What ran through your mind at that time? It is really interesting that Larry brought that up because the first time we went to trial and we had twelve films and we had every type of hard core pornography film that you could imagine except probably snuff films where they actually killed the participants on film or child pornography. We had every other type that you could think of. The trial went very well. The jury deliberated for five days and came back in a hung jury. We couldn t figure out what was wrong. I mean this was ridiculous. The jury foreman got a hold of us right a way. I remember what my dad said in his training because every time we would golf or get together it was like a seminar. I remember his words coming back to me saying talk to the jurors, talk to the jurors. Something is goofy here, you know. I didn t have to because as soon as we got out of the courtroom the juror foreman grabbed us and said he wanted to talk to us right away. Well right after the jury came back after five days with a hung jury, Sturman comes running over and puts his hand on my shoulder and says, Nice try kid. I said, What do you mean nice try, we are just going to do it again. 8

9 Page 9 He said, No it is all over. I said, No it s not over. We are just going to set another trial date and do it again. He says, What? He runs back to his defense attorney, a battery of three attorneys he had, and they are trying to shut him up and calm him down and so forth. That s when we talked to the jury foreman outside the courtroom, and he said he needed to talk to us in private. We went right over to the United States Attorney s Office. He said there were two women, one a first grade school teacher who had just come to Las Vegas and the other a school manager at an elementary school. He said that these two women hung up the jury and wanted to see the films all over again in the jury room and made them all look at them again after they had already been shown in their entirety during the trial. They suspected something was up. All the men, everybody else, I believe there were like eight men and four women. Everybody else found all of the films to be obscene according to the judge s instruction and the law. These two women just would not give in and so finally they just He said, There is something wrong because there is no way these two women could not have found these films to be obscene. Of course Rich Rosfelder who was there testifying from the IRS in Cleveland, Ohio. He said, Roger, I ll bet you a dinner and a nice glass of wine that Sturman got to these two women somehow. This is what he did in Cleveland. Tried to get to the jury and tried to get to the judge. Of course I wanted to do a jury tampering investigation and the Federal prosecutor said, No, we are just going to retry the case. We will get another trial date and go right back to it. Let s not spend the time going in that direction, let s concentrate on preparing for trial again. So it was interesting because as I say I could just see my dad saying, Stay after it, don t give up, stay after it. So we don t know whether these two got paid off or whether they were plants that he had paid for that somehow got on? So you got a hung jury the first time and when was that? What year was that? 9

10 Page 10 Then what happened in the follow-up? Well after a trial date was set and we were preparing to go to trial, the defense attorneys contacted us. Sturman, and there were four others with him that were involved as major players under him in Nevada, everyone came in and pled straight up to every count in the indictment. They just pled out. There was no trial. That really raised our suspicions that there had been jury tampering. Just pled out. This was really out of character for him because he is a fighter. He just doesn t give up. Sturman s probably the most diabolically evil subject I have ever investigated, because he is one of those people that will put his best foot forward, wear nice suits, very expensive suits of clothes and shoes, and kiss the babies kind of thing and politic and so forth. Then behind the scenes hire hit men or put you on a black list or whatever. He is just very two-faced. In fact during the trial, the trial portion before the hung jury, we went across the street to eat dinner at a restaurant across from the courthouse in Las Vegas and several of the jurors were in the room and he noticed that and he came running right up to me, he was already in the restaurant, comes running right up to me between the prosecutors and grabs my hand and shakes it, and says, You know, thank you for telling the truth on the stand when you testified. The jurors couldn t hear what he was saying, they could just see him grabbing my hand and shaking it. I said real loud so the jurors could hear, I said, That is my job as an Agent to tell the truth when I am on the stand. So everything Sturman did, he did for a purpose and he carefully planned things out. How old was he? At this time, he is probably about 64 years old. Is he still in jail? Oh no. Sturman eventually had to be transferred from jails. He went to Borum (SP) Prison in California and the Lompoc. He had trouble with some of the inmates in Lompoc getting after him physically so they transferred him to Federal prison in Kentucky and he eventually died there in

11 Page 11 So when he pled out, he was around 64, mid-sixties? That shocks me that he would do that. It was like he gave up. Like he knew he would be convicted on the retrial. Totally out of character. Anyway that was Blue Darcy. I was very fortunate in my career to be involved in several major cases. The first one of course being that the FBI designated as a major case with a code name. MIPORN was the first one and then Blue Darcy. MIPORN after Miami Porn. Miami was the FBI Office coordinating that one. After MIPORN then Blue Darcy came along. How do you spell that? Blue Darcy. What did that stand for? I don t know. We kept trying to find out. Jim Nelson who was the section chief at the time created that name so. Blue Darcy, like blue movies, I don t know. Right before our trial, then major case 25 Woodworm was initiated to target the major producers and distributors in the San Fernando Valley. I was involved in doing three of those, choosing three of those. I wanted to explore this Sturman case a little more. Roger told me about this interview with Sturman s accountant. He is going to expand on that a little bit and how that tied in with the case. We were able to discover that Sturman had an accountant that was doing his books, especially after Sturman had left Cleveland and was starting to live just on the edge of the San Fernando Valley in California. Richard Rosfelder, who I mentioned, the IRS agent, he and I would talk constantly, probably two or three times a week sharing information and intelligence that were developed. I believe the accountants name was Chuck Higgins. At any rate, we were able to work on him over the phone and convince him. Then another agent in Arizona where Higgins lived was able to meet with him and convince him that he should talk with us. 11

12 Page 12 Finally Higgins on his own decided to come to Las Vegas where my partner and I, another agent and I would interview him. At that point as he arrived in Las Vegas, I get a phone call from a local defense attorney in Las Vegas who just so happened to have gone to Citrus Junior College with me back in 1963/64, freshmen in college, and called me up and said he would be representing Higgins. I said, He doesn t need an attorney. He is not a subject of any investigation. He is just a potential witness. He said, Yes, but he would feel more comfortable if I was with him. I was very suspect and relayed this to Rosfelder and both of us agreed that Sturman or one of his attorneys probably contacted this local attorney and was paying him for his time to sit in on this interview and said he was representing the accountant. Well we did the interview at the attorney s office. Lo and behold everything we said, of course, got back to Sturman and then Sturman wanted to kill the accountant and threats were made toward him. In fact we believe a hit man was eventually hired and the hit was not done. But Sturman had a very large body guard. He was an ex-pro football player. He and the body guard, after the indictment and while we were awaiting the trial date, he, Sturman and the body guard here, approached the accountant as he was coming out of his church at 7:00 a.m. in the morning or 8:00, approached him on the steps, threatened him and slapped some kind of subpoena on him or paper from the court as far as being a witness for the defense. It was very scary for the accountant because he thought at that point that he was a dead man. So there were a lot of things like that that Sturman did, we discovered throughout the case. What was interesting too was that Richard Rosfelder and I. I identified someone who was carrying the skim money hand-to-hand from the courier right to Sturman and was able to influence that person to testify and to meet with Rich Rosfelder to help the IRS investigation. Both Rosfelder and I shared information from search warrants that were executed both in Cleveland and in San Francisco. We used probably five or six different search warrants, evidence from search warrants in the Sturman case including San Francisco and Cleveland and Las Vegas. Then, of course, the IRS search warrant, information on that, we used also. 12

13 Page 13 One of the key things that was probably a mistake by Sturman was he fired his secretary of twenty years. What was her name, do you know? I am trying to remember her name but at any rate he fired his secretary of twenty years and she testified not only in the IRS trial but in our racketeering, obscenity trial in Las Vegas also. She was invaluable in disclosing locations where Sturman hid stuff away. Another thing Sturman did was, his name never appeared on any papers. He never signed any corporation papers where he incorporated his pornography businesses. He had about 210 different pornography businesses throughout the United States and in foreign countries. He never signed his name. Anytime any of his area managers got something that had Research and Development, they knew that was from Reuben Sturman. There were possible nicknames that people thought he was using like Road Runner or he would spell his name backwards. So there were, but as far as any official documents, any business licenses, any bills to be paid for utilities, anything that had to do with anything that could be used in court, his name appeared on nothing. That is why the individuals who worked for him were invaluable to be developed into witnesses. After he was, right after he was convicted in Cleveland and then in Las Vegas and went to Borum Prison, he planned an escape with Michael Collela, a member of the Los Angeles organized crime family. Sturman fled Borum Prison because it was minimum security. That was another investigation that took place by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons as why would a person convicted of racketeering be in a minimum security prison. That was a mistake by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and so I had to be interviewed on that why he went to a minimum security prison such as Borum. But at any rate he was in that prison for maybe three to six months, fled, was picked up by Michael Collela, was given a 45 automatic and $30,000 and a brief case. How do you spell Collela? C-O-L-L-E-L-A Michael Collela is still alive today as far as I know running one of the major pornography businesses in the San Fernando Valley. 13

14 Page 14 At any rate, Sturman hid out and, of course, we were notified right away, Rich Rosfelder and I. The U.S. Marshals, it was their job at this time to investigate escaped prisoners, not the FBI anymore, which used to be our jurisdiction. Immediately they requested that Rich Rosfelder and I fly to the Los Angeles area and meet with the people of the U.S. Marshal Service who were doing the investigation as far as any possible leads, clues, knowledge that we had where he might be found. The airports security, the various highways, the highway patrol, everybody was notified. APBs were put out everywhere. We immediately thought Sturman would have this all planned and would have a private jet and fly him out of the country. So when he was found, he was right near Disney Land and using one of his past employee s last name living in his apartment and it was through good hard work by the U.S. Marshals Service and turning people and convincing them to cooperate as far as Sturman s location. We were able then to arrest him. They did find the money and the loaded 45 automatic with him. Later on I had a chance to interview Sturman with the Strike Force in Chicago because, after Sturman went back to prison, the people, his area managers that were still operating his businesses everywhere, that were not forfeited to the government as a result of our case in Las Vegas. In our case in Las Vegas we seized seven porno stores, two x-rated theaters in Las Vegas, one in Reno, I believe two in Berkeley and three in San Francisco; the total seizure for the government, land and everything totaled a little over $10 million. So this big fallacy about what a waste of tax payer s money, what a waste of time, surely the FBI has something more important to do than work obscenity or pornography, I mean, these are just consenting adults. People don t see the truth or see the total picture of what is involved here because there is no such thing as just an obscenity case. I learned that from my father. There is always public corruption or skimming or money laundering or murder or arson or numerous other crimes that are connected to it, including prostitution and sexual exploitation of children. At any rate, Sturman was very upset. His area managers after he went to prison were cutting off money being sent to him. One of those was Paula Lawrence in Chicago that was his area manager there. 14

15 Page 15 How do you spell that? As a result, Sturman hired a gentleman to take some gentlemen to go to Chicago and blow up her porno stores. So three men went to Chicago, created a pipe bomb, put it behind one porno store, and were on their way to another store, creating another pipe bomb to use and it went off in the car. It killed one of the men, injured another, the third one ran but the two that survived totally turned on Sturman. The case then was investigated again, of course by the FBI and ATF, cooperating in that one. As a result, Sturman was brought to Chicago to stand trial from prison. I just want to interject here that Roger is giving all of this stuff without the benefit of any notes or anything. This is just stuff that is in his head so I am amazed that he can recall of these specifics. We are going to continue about Paula Lawrence and what happened after Sturman realized that everyone was going to start turning against him. So as a result of these people who survived the bomb in the car that Sturman sent to blow up Paula s stores, actually he thought they were his stores, actually they were, but he was in prison so Paula said what the heck - I am not going to pay him - he is in prison; as did his other managers all over the place. At any rate the FBI brings Sturman to Chicago. The defense attorney there and Sturman get a hold of the attorney in the Organized Crime Strike Force and they tell him, Look, what can we do to make this go away? This is what Sturman can do. Sturman can lay out all the major pornographers in the United States, all their connections to Organized Crime, give you names exactly what they are doing with who and what organized crime families and members of those families are involved with these particular pornographers and give you tremendous spin off cases. This would be worth dropping these charges as far as the defense was concerned and Sturman. So the FBI in Chicago calls me up in Las Vegas and goes through the SAC, of course, getting permission for me to fly there to debrief Reuben Sturman. Sturman doesn t know this of course, and I fly to Chicago and the case agent working with the Organized Crime Strike Force in Chicago takes me over to the holding cell at the Marshals, and we walk in to pick up Sturman. Sturman comes out of the cell and he sees me and he goes, Hi, kid, what are you doing here? I said, Well I heard you are going to talk and lay everything out, Sturman, Reuben, so here I am. 15

16 Page 16 He said, Well I didn t expect to see you here. We escorted him handcuffed over to the Strike Force Office, sat down and I said, Okay, go ahead and tell us what you have. His defense attorney was there and he starts talking about everything that he has and it was nothing that we did not already know. This was a complete scam on Reuben s part. There wasn t anything that we didn t know and, anything else he was saying, I confronted him with it was not really the truth. What he was doing of course was just trying to get out of adding more prison time or going to trial for these charges in Chicago. It was fortunate that I was there. Of course, the case agent that was in Chicago was not aware of who Reuben Sturman was, what his background was, what his personality or behavior was, who he was connected to in any way. So that is why, of course, they asked that I come in because I had spent so much time over ten years investigating Reuben Sturman, plus hearing his tactics and his maneuvers and his behaviors from my father prior to my father s death. That was a very interesting part of that case that followed up. We are nearing the end of Side A here on this tape, maybe just a few comments on Sturman s background. You said, you told me earlier that he was married and subsequently divorced. We will talk about that until the tape runs out. Yes, Sturman was married, and he lived in Shaker Heights, Ohio, which is a very wealthy exclusive area, prior to moving to North Hollywood, California. His wife, of I believe over 20 years, he divorced and claimed to Rich Rosfelder, he claimed that the $10 million that he hid in Swiss bank accounts that he put there so that his wife wouldn t know about it, and he would not have to pay her as part of the divorce agreement. That money by the way in Switzerland was funneled through Ralph Levine in Las Vegas, through a creation of shell corporations through the Virginia Street Book Store in Reno and then out to Switzerland. Reuben always told Ralph that that was part of his money that they were going to split it. Well come trial in 1989, and they are both convicted in the IRS trial, Ralph asked Reuben, Okay, where is the money that is in the Swiss bank accounts? Sturman turned to Ralph and told him it was all gone. He spent all of it on attorney s fees. 16

17 Page 17 And that was true? As far as we knew that was true. One thing with the treaty that we have with the Swiss, Rich Rosfelder, and two of his agents went with him to Switzerland, providing information according to the treaty we have with the Swiss government for them to provide information on the bank accounts that Sturman had there. The agreement according to the treaty is that Switzerland will provide the United States with all this information if organized crime is involved but they get to keep all the assets that are in the bank. None of it can be returned to the United States. So Sturman really told Ralph that he spent it all, but in reality the Swiss government is able, according to our agreement and our treaty with them in cooperating with criminal investigations, they get to keep all the assets in their country. How much was it? $10 million. So he didn t really pay the $10 million to attorneys. The $10 million the Swiss government took. He told Ralph he had spent it all but in reality the Swiss government was able to seize it all. I think we are just about at the end of the tape, so we will flip it over and start fresh on the other side. END OF SIDE A BEGINNING OF SIDE B Roger and I took a break and just out of curiosity I went to my computer and googled Reuben Sturman. They had like over ten pages of references to him and even a short interview of Roger concerning the case. He was quite a major, his nickname was the king of porn, right? So I thought it would be interesting to kind of get a little back ground. According to the google thing, he used to be a comic book salesman in Cleveland. As Roger mentioned he was married for 20 years and divorced his wife and apparently got remarried. 17

18 Page 18 So we are going to pick it up from there and then I would like to conclude with Roger summarizing what he has done since he left the Bureau as far as his consulting work and so forth. Yes, after Sturman divorced his first wife, he met a woman named Naomi Delgado, and she was trying to work on a singing career in Mexico. He made trips to Mexico with her and spent money promoting her and helping her even record a record I recall. Also during this time when we were doing surveillances, after he was married to Naomi, he had a face lift to look younger and he would jog. We would surveil him jogging to stay in shape. I guess maybe to keep up with a younger wife. I was told by Jim Larkin, the national coordinator in Cleveland, it was fortunate that I never met her or interviewed her because people that did claimed that she was like a black widow. That you never wanted to have her know your name or where you lived because you could never trust her. Everyone felt that she was very dangerous and very nefarious. Birds of a feather? She was the one who attempted to go to bed with a male juror during the trial in 1989 in Cleveland, Ohio, the IRS trial that Richard Rosfelder discovered. While she was married to Reuben Sturman? While she was married to Reuben Sturman, yes. So as a result of that eventually Sturman did leave Cleveland and did leave his place in North Hollywood and bought a very nice house in Van Nuys, California in the San Fernando Valley. What is interesting here is that Naomi moved in with her entire family then from Mexico and lived in this house that had a huge swimming pool in a very nice area. When Sturman married Naomi and had a wedding reception, of course, the FBI surveilled that and took photographs of the reception at this nice house in Van Nuys. Another thing that was very interesting in the case was that there was an area manager, an employee of Sturman s, in the northwest that took a fall for Sturman instead of Sturman going to prison. His name was Edward J. Wedelstedt; also known as Eddie Wedelstedt. 18

19 Page 19 Eddie Wedelstedt, while he was on probation after he got out of prison, came to Sturman and Sturman put him to work in southern California. Where we were told he was going around in the peep show booth part of area which was of the porno stores throughout southern California that Sturman owned. He was telling people how to operate them and was involved in the pick up of the money and so forth. This was total skim money. All the peep show booths of all Sturman s operations, all 210 businesses, the peep show booths were the skim money and the other money that was in the major part of the store where the films and sexual devices, etc. were were reported on the sales. It s interesting, just a side note here, that various sources that we talked to, they estimated, but we could never prove it, they estimated that Reuben s skim money, unreported money, was approximately $2 million a day in skim money of people bringing him money from these 210 businesses with the peep show booths. At any rate, Eddie Wedelstedt prior to being off probation was involved with Sturman, and I contacted the probation officer supervising him in Los Angeles and stated that this is what is going on and that we could violate his probation and send him back to prison. At that time the probation officer, I guess, was very very busy and said that he has checked into this and Eddie Wedelstedt s name doesn t appear on anything. I said, I have witnesses, I have surveillances, I have people who will testify. There is no question that he is violating his Federal probation. The Federal officer for some reason didn t want to be involved or didn t want to do it and so Eddie Wedelstedt then eventually moved to Denver, Colorado where he established a pornography business called Goalie Entertainment. It was a large pornography business in Denver. He traveled in his jeep to Sturman s house in Van Nuys, California and was the last one with him making arrangements to take care of all of Sturman s businesses just before Sturman was to report to the U.S. Marshals to be transported to prison as a result of his conviction in Las Vegas. Naomi Delgado, Sturman s wife, overheard all of these arrangements and the plans that Wedelstedt and Sturman had to follow up as far as taking care of Sturman financially and so forth. That Eddie Wedelstedt then would take over what was the Midwest part of Sturman s empire and expand it, which he did. 19

20 Page 20 Eventually Eddie Wedelstedt was prosecuted and convicted in a case just within the last couple of years, , by the IRS out of Denver. At the beginning of the case I was involved. The FBI was involved in investigating Eddie Wedelstedt. He was convicted of IRS-related charges and the violation of the interstate transportation of obscene matter violations. So at any rate Eddie was his main man that he trusted following his conviction. What about Naomi Delgado, is she still functioning? Yes, as far as I know, Naomi is still being taking care of and is still around in southern California. I don t know if she has remarried but evidently she really caught Reuben s eye and he was very enamored by her. As far as I know she is still around in southern California in the San Fernando Valley. You mentioned that Reuben died while he was in prison. Do you know if it was a terminal illness or old age or what? I talked to someone, one of the pornographers that went to visit him. One of my sources went to visit him and said he wasn t looking good. He was getting thin and pale. Sturman just stopped exercising, he was refusing to eat and he told this source that he was just giving up. He didn t want to live any more and evidently it was not just from pornography convictions but what was going on in his life with others that he had always been in contact with and had control over. Now he was nothing and had no control over anyone so he eventually died in prison in Federal prison in Kentucky in That is a fascinating story. In the time that we have left here, I wondered if you could give us a little background; where you went to college and everything, how you went in the Bureau and after retirement you have been in the consulting business. I know you do a lot of teaching with local law enforcement. Just kind of conclude with that. Yes, right after I retired at the end of June, 2001, Ken Lanning was supposed to go to Australia to teach as an expert throughout Australia on sexual exploitation of children and obscenity and prostitution. He could not go for a personal reason and had contacted FBI Headquarters to get my number and FBI Headquarters called me to see if I could go to Australia to teach to law enforcement and to community organizations. 20

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