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The Russians, domestic violence, sports gambling all tied into Darren Sharper case

Brandon Licciardi (FOX 8 photo) Brandon Licciardi (FOX 8 photo)
New details in the Darren Sharper rape case tie other football players to the scene of at least one "date rape" drug crime. However, it was a slew of other new allegations that kept former St. Bernard sheriff's Sgt. Brandon Licciardi behind bars.

"It was literally hitting you with everything but the kitchen sink," said Licciardi's attorney, Ralph Capitelli.

From the Russian mafia to domestic violence to date rape drugs and illegal gambling rings, federal magistrate Judge Sally Shushan had two hours of allegations to sort through before declaring Licciardi a flight risk and a risk of obstructing justice.

"I know that the state and them have put tremendous pressure and thrown everything but the kitchen sink at my client to keep him in jail," Capitelli said. "That was clearly the goal, and they accomplished that. Now that goes a long way to - do they have good cases? They have serious flaws with their cases, serious, serious flaws with the cases."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Miller argued during Thursday's bond hearing that Licciardi was "actively involved in a gambling operation," "purchasing club drugs," and that he "beat his girlfriend viciously."

Quoting from a text message FBI agents recovered, Miller said, "he - and I use his language, 'beat the {expletive} out of her.' That's a police officer talking about that."

"I have serious questions about a lot of what he's charged with that they had - that they're able to carry that burden," Capitelli said.

FBI agents alleged Licciardi was the middleman in a sports gambling ring, and that he took bets from Darren Sharper. FBI Special Agent DeWayne Horner said Sharper once lost a $25,000 bet to "Russians" in California.

The gambling is a crime that FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti said the feds may not be as interested in compared to the date rape allegations.

"I think they just wanted to do that to paint a broader picture about him," Raspanti said. "So, we may not ever hear anything more about that again."

What stood out to Judge Shushan, though, was hearing from the FBI agents that other NFL players warned Licciardi that drinks were spiked at a convention in Las Vegas. Licciardi, it is alleged, did nothing to inform police or save women from being victims.

"He didn't do so," Shushan said. "That leads me to believe that he's alright with these kinds of activities. That's not OK."

Shushan ordered Licciardi to remain jailed in St. Charles Parish without bond.

Shushan likely was also swayed by text messages read aloud by an FBI agent that were allegedly exchanged between Darren Sharper and Licciardi. One message read: "She's on the potion. She's ready."

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