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Edmond Police Chief Played Real Role In 'American Hustle'

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Edmond Police Chief Bob Ricks has a direct connection to the real story behind the movie. Edmond Police Chief Bob Ricks has a direct connection to the real story behind the movie.
EDMOND, Oklahoma -

Many of you might have seen the movie "American Hustle," but what you probably didn't know is Edmond Police Chief Bob Ricks has a direct connection to the real story behind the movie.

Chief Ricks has a long and storied career in law enforcement.

He was the Special Agent In Charge for the FBI in Oklahoma City during the Waco Siege and the Oklahoma City bombing.

He was also the head of the FBI's undercover unit in Washington D.C. during ABSCAM in the late 70s, which is at the center of the Movie "American Hustle."

At the beginning of the movie, it says some of these things really did happen.

Edmond Police Chief Bob Ricks can attest that's actually true, and said there really was a conman the FBI used as an undercover operative.

"His real name was Mel Weinberg," said Chief Ricks. "Mel Weinberg was a con artist who was an advance fee swindler."

Weinberg even did an interview with CBS's 60 minutes back in 1981.

While Weinberg was the front man, Ricks said he was one of the guys behind the scenes calling the shots, and he helped separate the fact from the fiction.

"In the movie it portrayed the deposits of multi millions of dollars - in fact, they had the person there that had actually embezzled the money," said Chief Ricks. "None of that actually took place."

Ricks said ABSCAM was a sting operation the FBI was just getting started, which created a ruse that two sheiks were looking to hide millions of dollars in America.

"At the time it was very small in nature," said Chief Ricks. "It was focused primarily on con artists, people who were dealing in stolen art, stolen certificates of deposit."

It may have started small, but like in the movie, it would lead to the conviction of several members of Congress before it was all done.

"That actually did happen," said Chief Ricks. "We ended up bribing six members of Congress and one U.S. Senator."

As for the characters portrayed in the movie?

Ricks said not all of them were entirely accurate.

Take Amy Adam's character...

"In the movie, they actually say she wasn't from London," said Chief Ricks. "But in actuality, she actually was!"

And as for the rogue FBI agent played by actor Bradley Cooper? Ricks said that was all Hollywood.

"The acting I thought was exceptional!"

Chief Ricks said he did not consult on the film at all, although he said there were some FBI agents involved in ABSCAM who did.

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