Former NJ Trooper Pleads Guilty in Gambling Case

A former New Jersey state trooper pleaded guilty to helping run a gambling ring Thursday. The former trooper promised to help the authorities in the case against another involved, former hockey star Rick Tocchet along with others.

James Harney pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, promoting gambling and official misconduct in a negotiated deal. The 40 year-old man is facing up to seven years in prison at his sentencing Oct. 27. His original sentence was at least 25 years behind bars.

The plea was entered almost six months after he was charged by New Jersey authorities, Tocchet and James Ulmer. They were charged with running a gambling ring whose alleged bettors included some prominent hockey players and actress Janet Jones, the wife of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.

The bettors will not be charged with any crimes according to authorities, and NHL officials made clear that there were no bets on hockey games.

Harney was relieved from his post in the state police after he was charged with the crimes Feb. He resigned, and in a letter, he apologized for "the disgrace which I have placed upon the Division, myself and my family."

Harney declined to comment after the hearing, buut his lawyer said he had been truthful and he hoped the other defendants would be the same. "My client is humbled," lawyer Craig Mitnick said.