In conjunction with its 10th anniversary occurring on Feb. 14, 2022, 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 former City of Las Vegas mayor Oscar B. Goodman and his wife, current City of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman.
The event will honor retired undercover agent Joseph Pistone. During his public service career, Pistone’s pioneering undercover work as “Donnie Brasco” enabled him to infiltrate the Bonanno and Colombo crime families in 1970s New York, leading to more than 200 indictments and 100 convictions of Mafia members across the United States. The event will also feature special meet-and-greets and photo opportunities with other true-life undercover agents.
Attendees will partake in 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. VIP or Premium Seating for sponsors and VIP guests will be located in the Museum’s Courtroom.
“We are immensely proud of our accomplishments and are so appreciative of the community support that enabled the Museum to advance its mission and achieve incredible success,” said Jonathan Ullman, President and CEO of The Mob Museum. “As we look ahead, we will pursue opportunities to innovate as a premier cultural destination and elevate our impact within Las Vegas and beyond.”
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.
Honoree – Joseph D. Pistone
Joseph Pistone is a retired FBI agent who worked deep undercover as Donnie Brasco for six years, from 1975 to 1981, infiltrating the Bonanno crime family and the Colombo crime family, two of the Five Families of the Mafia in New York City. He helped establish the FBI’s Undercover Program as it exists today, and he was instrumental in organizing the FBI’s Safeguard Program for Undercover Agents.
The movie “Donnie Brasco,” starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino, was based on his life and undercover work. His awards and decorations include the US Attorney General’s Award, the J. Edgar Hoover Award, and the FBI Medal of Valor.
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, FBI
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
Infiltrator Ticket: Includes VIP admission at 5 p.m. to the Honoree Reception and Program with Gala co-chairs Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Oscar Goodman, as well as undercover agents; reserved seating in the historic Courtroom for Undercover of the Night Gala, gourmet action stations, specialty cocktails, luxury auction items, live entertainment; and a meet-and-greet and photo opportunities with undercover agents. $500
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
Tickets and more information can be found at themobmuseum.org/gala
Special thanks to our partners of The Undercover of the Night Gala. The Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation is The Major Takedown presenting sponsor. Greenberg Traurig, LLC is on board as the Deep Cover sponsor and Levy Productions and Brown & Brown are the evening’s Liaison sponsors. Other exclusive sponsorship packages, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, include branding opportunities, tickets to the event and more are available. For more information about sponsorships, call (702)724-8644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Museum, please call (702) 229-2734 or visit themobmuseum.org.