8 charged in youth football gambling bust still in jail
Updated On: Nov 01 2012 10:34:03 AM EDT
Eight of the nine men charged in a youth football gambling ring remained in jail on Wednesday afternoon.
Nine men -- Brandon Bivins, Darren Brown, Vincent Gray, Brandon Lewis, Brad Parker, La Taurus Fort, Willie Tindal, Darron Bostic, Dave Small -- were charged with Felony Bookmaking. They were arrested this week as part of "Operation Dirty Play," an 18-month investigation by the Broward Sheriff's Office. Small posted bond on Tuesday night.
Late Wednesday, South Florida Youth Football League President Michael Spivey sent out a letter condemning the gambling.
READ: Spivey's letter
On Wednesday, Gray made his appearance in bond court, where his bond was set at $100,000.
"What's your ability to post the bond?" asked the judge.
"I can't -- no way possible post it," replied Gray.
READ: Operation "Dirty Play"
Investigators said the coaches organized the bets and made the point spreads on the games.
BSO also served search warrants at two businesses that, investigators say, served as gambling houses: Showtime Sports and Apparel in Lauderdale Lakes and Red Carpet Kutz Barbershop in Lauderhill.
According to investigators, Bivins was the ringleader and used his barbershop in Lauderhill as a front for the gambling house.
"It had the chairs and mirrors and all that, but it was just a front. Because in the back room was a full gambling house," Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti said Tuesday.
According to an ESPN "Outside the Lines" report, up to $20,000 was bet on some games.
"This is a sore spot, definitely a sore spot and it put us in a negative light," said South Florida Youth Football League Vice President Van Warren.
Warren also coaches a team in Pompano Beach.
"You've got a bad apple in there. In hockey, soccer, baseball, whatever you want to name it, you're going to have a bad apple. But at the end of the day, you're going to have more good than bad," said Warren.
Several years ago, Pompano Beach began requesting background checks on its volunteers and coaches.
"I was denied about something that was done in 1983, and once they got more into details of it, they seen that it was a non-violent," said football coach Mark McLamore.
McLamore said the gambling scandal appalled him.
"I have zero tolerance when the fugitives come around the kids," said McLamore.
However, not all cities require coaches and volunteers to undergo a background check.
Six of the nine men are ex-convicts with previous felony arrests for drugs, assault, and theft.
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