Nicholas Stella, a former Chicago police officer, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to conduct an illegal gambling business.
Stella is the fifth defendant in the case that once involved Casey Urlacher to plead guilty. Urlacher received a full pardon from former President Donald Trump on his way out of office in January.
Like Urlacher, Stella acted as an agent in the scheme. A Chicago Police Department spokesperson told the Chicago Sun-Times that Stella is no longer an active police officer.
The illegal gambling case only makes up part of Stella’s legal issues. Prosecutors alleged in January that Stella “violently assaulted his girlfriend,” and a sentencing hearing is set for June 22.
Assistant US Attorney Terry Kinney told US District Judge Virginia Kendall that Stella committed “repeated domestic batteries.”
One time, Stella allegedly pulled out a gun while with his girlfriend. Stella proceeded to take his girlfriend’s phone, access her text messages and post them on the internet.
Now, add conspiring to conduct an illegal gambling business to Stella’s legal troubles.
Details about Stella’s role in the scheme
According to Stella’s 15-page plea agreement, he shared winnings and losses with Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice at a 50% split. DelGiudice led the operation.
Stella also allegedly complained to DelGiudice on the phone in December 2018 that a Costa Rican company took a game off of their website.
Stella also texted DelGiudice in January 2019 to “settle up” with bettors after the Super Bowl.
Prosecutors alleged that Stella destroyed his phone before they were able to execute a search warrant. He was the only defendant in the case who destroyed his phone and did not surrender it.
Stella is the fifth defendant to plead guilty since Trump pardoned Urlacher. Matthew “Sweaters“ Knight was the fourth in the illegal sports gaming ring to plead guilty. Eugene “Geno” DelGuidice, father of Vincent, was sentenced in the fall for his involvement as a “runner.”
Pardoned Casey Urlacher becomes Mettawa mayor
While just about everyone else involved in the gambling ring was pleading guilty, Urlacher ran for public office, and won another term in the Mettawa mayoral race to Jess Ray this week.
Trump fully pardoned Urlacher in January. Here was his statement then, which has since been removed from the White House website:
“President Trump granted a full pardon to Casey Urlacher. This pardon is supported by his friends and family, and countless members of his community. Mr. Urlacher has been charged with conspiracy to engage in illegal gambling. Throughout his life, Mr. Urlacher has been committed to public service and has consistently given back to his community. Currently, Mr. Urlacher serves as the unpaid Mayor of Mettawa, Illinois. He is a devoted husband to his wife and a loving father to his 17-month old daughter.”
A few weeks later, Urlacher announced he would seek reelection. And as we’ve previously noted, Trump’s statement did not refute the allegations.
Urlacher once faced a maximum of 10 years in prison, though we should point out that his former co-defendants haven’t received punishments near that long.
“I don’t understand why he’d want to do it,” Ray said in February. “He’s a competitive animal and he loves the limelight.”
Urlacher, of course, is Chicago Bears legend Brian Urlacher’s brother. The latter has been a vocal Trump supporter over the years, and met with the former president at the White House in March 2020.