Ex-San Diego hoops star among 10 indicted for betting scheme

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 8:36 PM ET

SAN DIEGO - Former San Diego guard Brandon Johnson, along with two others formerly associated with the school's men's basketball program, are among 10 people charged in the operation of a sports betting scheme.

The 10 have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sports bribery, conduct an illegal gambling business, and distribute marijuana.

In addition to Johnson, former San Diego assistant coach Thaddeus Brown and former player Brandon Dowdy are named in the indictment, which was handed up Friday by a federal grand jury and unsealed Monday.

A release from the office of the U.S. attorney Laura E. Duffy said that, according to court documents, three San Diego County residents -- Steve Warda Goria, Paul Joseph Thweni and Richard Garmo -- orchestrated multiple criminal schemes, including the one involving San Diego.

The release said Johnson allegedly took a bribe to influence the result of an unspecified game in February 2010. He also allegedly solicited an individual this past January to affect the outcomes of San Diego games.

Johnson played for the Toreros from 2005-10 and led them in scoring during his final season.

The indictment also alleges that in February, Brown and Dowdy solicited someone to affect the outcome of a college basketball game. Brown was a San Diego assistant during the 2006-07 season, when Dowdy played for the Toreros. Dowdy later played for UC Riverside.

The release said that others charged in the indictment allegedly helped Goria, Thweni and Garmo by managing sports books, collecting gambling debts and distributing marijuana. Profits from those activities funded the college basketball bribery so defendants could profit further by betting on the games.

"The drug trafficking and sports betting charged in this case were organized and substantial and reflect diversification of criminality that we will not tolerate," Duffy said in the release.

Johnson was arrested by FBI agents on Saturday, and he is expected to appear before a magistrate judge in the Southern District of Texas. Defendants arrested in San Diego should be arraigned in federal court Tuesday, according to the release.

The maximum penalties for the charge are five years of jail time and a $250,000 fine.


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