Federal agents knew for weeks that O.J. Simpson and sports a memorabilia dealer planned a sting operation to retrieve personal items that the Juice said were stolen from him, according to FBI reports obtained by The Associated Press.
Dealer Thomas Riccio said he reported to the FBI August 21 that a collector claimed to have belongings of Simpson's, and that O.J. wanted to videotape the confrontation with the person peddling pieces of his memorabilia.
Amazingly, Thomas Riccio told the AP that he raised the subject while talking with the FBI about an unrelated subject: a video of Anna Nicole Smith.
But he said agents dismissed his report, the dealer said, telling him that "they didn't want to be involved in another weird celebrity case."
"The guy flat-out told me he had items stolen from O.J. Simpson's house," Riccio told the AP. "I have a legitimate business."
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said Thomas Riccio did not indicate a crime would be committed. Riccio was advised to contact a lawyer before taking action and was told that alerting the FBI would not absolve him of any crime(s).
Riccio said he was not clear how the O.J. Simpson operation would unfold.
There was no mention in the report of any plans to use guns, a central component of the case now being made against O.J. Simpson and his co-defendants.
"I went along with O.J.'s plan," Riccio said. "It was a self-organized sting operation. Except for the end, with him bringing people with guns. I knew nothing about that."
O.J. Simpson, 60, and five other men were arrested after they allegedly stormed a Las Vegas hotel room with guns September 13 to seize items believed to include family photos and the suit Simpson wore the day he was acquitted of murder.