FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Nine people have been arrested and charged for their involvement in an illegal gambling ring that not only included professional and collegiate sports but also youth football games in Broward County.
But Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti said the arrests came after an 18 month investigation.
“It’s about kids being exploited by greedy parents and greedy grownups, who were basically nothing more than criminals,” said Sheriff Lamberti. ”You could come in and get the full spread and they bet on everything. The NFL, college sports and youth football games.”
According to the arrest affidavits, some of the winnings were as much as $100,000.
Of the nine people involved, all have direct ties to the South Florida Youth Football League and six have extensive criminal histories. They were charged with felony bookmaking, and some were charged with keeping a gambling house. They are:
- Brandon Bivins, coach/president of the Ft. Lauderdale Hurricanes
- Darron Lashawn Bostic, coach of the Deerfield Beach Packer-Rattlers
- Darren Jerome Brown, coach/affiliate of the Ft. Lauderdale Hurricanes
- Brandon Marlon Lewis, affiliate of the Ft. Lauderdale Hurricanes
- Brad Donte Parker, affiliate of the Ft. Lauderdale Hurricanes
- La Taurus Tarmayne Fort, coach of the Northwest Broward Raiders
- Dave Constantine Small, coach of the Lauderhill Lions
- Willie Tindal, coach of the Northwest Broward Raiders
- Vincent Gernard Gray, coach of the Ft. Lauderdale Hurricanes
Lamberti named Brandon Bivens, the president of the Fort LAuderdale Hurricanes, as the leader of the gambling operation.
The investigation revealed that coaches, team affiliates and the president of the South Florida Youth Football League routinely set point spreads prior to each game. Deputies and officers also conducted search warrants Monday at two businesses that served as gambling houses. Detectives say illegal bets were routinely made at Showtime Sports and Apparel, 3685 N.W. 19th St., Lauderdale Lakes, and Red Carpet Kutz Barbershop, 1835 N.W. 38th Ave., Lauderhill. Gamblers would place bets on mostly professional and collegiate games at those locations, but detectives discovered many bets were placed on youth football games, according to BSO.
The Lauderhill and Fort Lauderdale police departments, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshals Service assisted with the arrests.
Operation Dirty Play was set in place following a 2011 ESPN program, Outside the Lines, which documented gambling and drug sales at South Florida Youth League football games.
Anyone with information about youth football gambling in Broward County can report information to BSO’s Organized Crime Unit’s Youth Football Hotline at (954) 888-5259.