Former UC Riverside Basketball Player Among Those Indicted In Sports-Bribery Ring

RIVERSIDE (CBS) — A former UC Riverside basketball player was among 10 people named in a federal indictment unsealed Monday in connection with an alleged sports-bribery ring that offered bribes to college basketball players to fix games.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle Reports

Federal prosecutors in San Diego alleged the organizers conspired to bribe players to alter the outcome of games so the defendants could profit by betting on games in Las Vegas.

Brandon Dowdy, 22, who played UCR from 2008-2010, was among those indicted.

Also indicted were former University of San Diego star basketball player Brandon Johnson, and former USD assistant coach Thaddeus Brown. Dowdy also played at USD during the 2006-2007 season.

The indictment alleges that in February 2011, Brown and Dowdy solicited an individual to affect the outcome of a college basketball game at UCR.

Dowdy, of San Diego, and several other defendants were expected to make their first appearance in San Diego federal court on Tuesday, said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

She alleged that the three lead defendants in the case — San Diego residents Steve Warda Goria, Paul Joseph Thweni and Richard Garmo — orchestrated multiple schemes, including the sports bribery scheme involving Johnson, Brown and Dowdy.

Brown coached at USD the same year Dowdy played there.

Johnson, 24, was arrested Saturday in Texas and was expected to be arraigned Monday.

The indictment accuses the group of conspiracy to commit sports bribery, running an illegal sports bookmaking operation and distributing marijuana.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Keith Slotter said the investigation, dubbed “Operation Hookshot,” began more than a year ago and started out as a drug probe.

Slotter said he didn’t know how many basketball games were affected by the illegal bookmaking activity.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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