Monday 16 May 2011

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Ex-College Coach, Players Accused Of Throwing Games For Bribes

SAN DIEGO — A former University of San Diego assistant basketball coach and two former players are among 10 people indicted in an alleged conspiracy to affect the outcome of games, federal authorities revealed Monday.

A federal grand jury handed up the indictments on April 8 against former assistant coach Thaddeus Brown, 32, of El Cajon, Calif., who coached at USD during the 2006-07 season, and former players Brandon Johnson and Brandon Dowdy.

The indictment alleges that Johnson took a bribe to influence the result of a game in February 2010 and solicited someone else in January 2011 to affect the outcome of USD basketball games.

The indictment alleges that this February, Brown and Dowdy solicited someone to affect the outcome of a game at the University of California, Riverside.

Dowdy, 22, of San Diego, played for USD in the 2006-07 season and for Riverside from 2008-10.

Authorities said at a news conference that the extent of the alleged gambling operation was uncertain. They also did not reveal whether the alleged conspiracy actually affected the outcome of any games.

The sports-betting investigation evolved from a probe the FBI began a year ago into a marijuana distribution operation, officials said.

Authorities said USD was fully cooperating and was not accused of any wrongdoing.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and Keith Slotter, head of the FBI’s San Diego office, said they met Monday with USD officials.

“They are rightly concerned,” Duffy said. “They were very responsive and cooperative and it was a good meeting.”

The 10 people charged are accused of conspiracy to commit sports bribery, conduct an illegal gambling business and to distribute marijuana. If convicted, they each face up to five years in prison and 0,000 fines.

Nine of the 10 were arrested, including Johnson, 24, who was taken into custody Saturday in Houston. Seven other arrests were made Monday in the San Diego area. One person remained at large.

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