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Illegal Sports Gambling Operation Broken Up

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Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips and the State Police Special Investigations Unit Thursday announced they have cracked a $10 million illegal sports betting operation in Orange and Rockland counties and the Bronx, which accepted bets in Costa Rica. The operation used a service in Costa Rica to accept bets over the telephone.

The investigation included the use of several court ordered eavesdropping warrants, including an order authorizing the interception of internet communications occurring on one suspect's home computer. Phillips said these types of criminals are usually not acting in a vacuum. Clearly these kinds of operations do have links to organized crime somewhere along the line, he said. These operations are not independent operators who just decide they are going to set up a sports betting operation. Territories are defined. They may overlap but they answer to a higher authority.

In at least one instance, Phillips said a man who didn't pay his gambling debt on time was beaten up. To date, 12 people have been arrested and three more are being sought, said DA Frank Phillips.

One of those arrested, John Andriello, admitted possessing records reflecting $800,000 worth of beds occurring over a one-week period during the 'March Madness' college basketball season.

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