The Smoking Gun has tracked down the court files from Real "Cokewhore" of New Jersey Danielle Staub's 1986 federal prosecution for extortion and cocaine possession. She was arrested with six kilos of coke and $16,000 cash in plain view.
The rough outlines of the case are known: Staub's drug-dealer boyfriend kidnapped a client, and Staub ratted him out, cutting a deal with federal prosecutors. That deal was brokered by her boyfriend, professional informant Kevin Maher, who knew the U.S. Attorney in Miami. But the details in the documents are spectacular.
In 1986, Staub went by the name Beverly Merrill, but her working name as a high-end prostitute was "Angela Minelli." She was living in Miami, and one of her clients was Daniel Claudio Aguilar, a cocaine dealer for the Medellín cartel. According to a federal indictment, Aguilar was selling two kilos of cocaine to a group of men for $48,000 in June of 1986. The deal was being "brokered" by Staub's neighbor, Carmen Centolella. Before it was consummated, Staub accompanied Centolella to his apartment down the hall from hers with one kilo to "test" it. When they got there, four men jumped Staub and ran off with the cocaine.
Aguilar blamed Centolella for the robbery, beat him, kidnapped him, and repeatedly called his father demanding $25,000 and threatening Centolella's life. Interestingly, one of those threatening phone calls was made by Staub—we mean "Angela"—herself.
Centolella's father called the FBI, who arrested Aguilar and another man with a 9 mm pistol in their car. They picked up Staub at Aguilar's house with six kilos of cocaine and $16,000 in cash.
After talking to Maher, Staub turned on Aguilar. She pleaded guilty to one extortion charge and cooperated with prosecutors.
This made Aguilar mad! Maher told us a couple weeks ago that Staub was crazy to appear on a reality TV show, because the guy she put away might want to know where to find her: "The guy she locked up was a high-level drug dealer from Medellín," Maher said. "Now he's out. What do you think he's gonna do when he sees her face on TV and knows exactly where she lives? She's got to be out of her fucking mind." That makes even more sense now, because according to court documents, Aguilar orchestrated threats against Staub back then: After she started cooperating with the government; Aguilar's mother called Staub to yell at her, another woman called to say "Your life is at an end, honey,"; her apartment was broken into; and a male called her to say he'd seen her walking her dog and that she shouldn't take "risks" like that. Aguilar was released from prison in 1994.
During and before the trial, Aguilar's attorneys tried to attack Staub's credibility by pointing out repeatedly that she was a prostitute.
And two years after the trial, while Staub was out on probation, a doctor wrote the court to advise that, given her "drug history and her former drug lifestyle," she should remain in a court-mandated rehab program.
And that's the story of how New Jersey's sweetheart used to be an extorting coke whore. Read the whole thing here. Really.