Housewives of NJ: New Details Emerge From Danielle’s Past

06/24/2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

Housewives of NJ: New Details Emerge From Danielle’s Past
In previews for Thursday’s second installment of The Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion, it appears that things heat up when the discussion centers on Danielle Staub's past.

Now, with the emergence of legal documents uncovered by, it looks like her past may be much more checkered than the 46-year-old New Jersey Housewife has been letting on.

According to documents filed in Miami's U.S. District Court, Staub -- then known as Beverly Ann Merrill -- and Daniel Aguilar, her alleged drug dealer boyfriend at the time, were arrested by the FBI in June 1986 for holding a man they blamed for a botched cocaine deal for $25,000 in ransom.

While Staub has insisted her involvement in the incident was minimal, the documents state that she went so far as to place a phone call to the man's father to ask for the money -- and threatened "injury or death" to the man if it wasn't delivered.

The documents go on to reveal that Staub was arrested at a Miami apartment, where police also discovered six kilos of cocaine and $16,000 cash, and that Staub cooperated with the FBI in exchange for a more lenient punishment.

The papers appear to confirm several accusations made about Staub in Cop Without a Badge, the now infamous book about her FBI informant ex-husband Kevin Maher that became a major plot-twister on the show this season when it was discovered and brought to light by costars.

Staub recently denied the accusations in an interview with PEOPLE, saying she was only an "accessory" in the incident, never worked as a prostitute and never had a cocaine problem.

But according to the papers, Staub was charged with one felony count and convicted of extortion; she "worked for an escort service,” according to an FBI agent on the case; and she was sentenced to drug treatment and weekly urinalysis tests for six months. Two years later, her substance abuse counselor recommended that her "drug aftercare" program be extended, "considering the severity of Beverly's drug history and her former drug life style."

Staub did not immediately respond to a request for a comment. -- Kristen MasciaBravo

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