Chicago cop sentenced to 15 months behind bars for role in sports gambling case

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a veteran Chicago police officer to 15 months in prison for his role in a large-scale, international gambling ring.

Nicholas Stella, 43, is the third person to be sentenced for his role in the gambling ring once run by Vincent "Uncle Mick" DelGiudice. U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall last year gave three months of home detention to DelGiudice’s father, Eugene "Geno" DelGiudice. And last month, she gave six months of community confinement to Todd Blanken.

But she also ordered Stella into Chicago’s federal lockup six months ago, after prosecutors said Stella "violently assaulted his girlfriend" last January at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosemont.

Kendall cited that incident when she handed down Stella’s sentence Thursday, telling him "there can be no tolerance for that in our society."


The judge also said Stella’s status as a police officer is "so troubling." Seeing an officer act as though he is above the law brings suspicion to "all of the really good officers out there who are trying to do their jobs — and they are trying so hard, with integrity and good character," Kendall said.

Before Kendall sentenced him, Stella acknowledged he was "100% guilty" and said he’d "never, or would ever, use my police powers or resources to aid in any crime, let alone gambling."

Prosecutors have described the operation led by Vincent DelGiuduice from 2016 until 2019 as "an absolutely massive, long-term, very profitable" international Chicago-based gambling ring, and the judge has said the "absolute breadth of this case was remarkable."

Also charged as part of the February 2020 indictment was Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher, brother of Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher. Donald Trump pardoned Casey Urlacher during the final hours of his presidency in January.