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Dozen Men Busted For Gambling

MINEOLA—A dozen men have been arrested in connection with a Queens-based gambling ring that is estimated to have taken in more than $30 million in illegal sports wagers over the past five years.

The arrests were made in the early morning hours of Monday as detectives raided the ring’s College Point ‘wire room,’ a safety deposit box and several of the member’s automobiles and homes.Arrested and charged with first degree promoting gambling and fifth degree conspiracy were brothers and alleged ringleaders Stephen Rozich, 55, of Douglaston and Daniel Rozich, 52, of Little Neck. Both brothers were arrested Monday morning at their homes.

Also charged with the same crimes are Michael Donaghy, 27, of Glen Cove, Luis Castro (yet to be apprehended), 29, of Westbury, Gerald Bernot, 62, of Farmingdale, Douglas Leung, 33, of Bethpage, Jeffrey Dunn, 40, of Little Neck, Fred Levine, 59, of Flushing, James McDonnell (yet to be apprehended), 70, of Bayside; Antonio Ambroselli, 46, of Whitestone; George Rudzinski, 66, of Beechhurst; and Frank McDonnell, 41, of Williston Park.

Each of the 12 men face a maximum of four years in prison if convicted of the charges. They are all due back in court Nov. 13.Nassau County district attorney Kathleen Rice said that from March through early November, undercover detectives from the Nassau County Police Department’s District Attorney Squad placed numerous bets with an illegal betting ring based first in Flushing and then College Point in Queens.

Bettors would either call a phone number and place their bets with the wire room and the “sheetwriter” directly, or they would use one of numerous Nassau and Suffolk County “runners” to act as a go-between between themselves and the operation. A gambling organization’s sheetwriter is largely responsible for recording the bets and running the day-to-day operations of the scheme. A runner is responsible for recruiting and collecting bets for the group. A runner usually receives a commission based on his clients’ betting activity.

Rice said that the investigation has identified Michael Donaghy as the ring’s main sheetwriter and that in addition to the seven runners charged Monday, the investigation will remain highly active as authorities continue to uncover additional tentacles of the operation.

Through the extensive financial investigation, undercover activity and surveillance, Rice said that the betting ring is estimated to have taken in more than $30 million in wagers on college and professional football alone during the past five years. Authorities believe that the Rozich brothers have been in the sport betting business for more than 25 years.

“Gambling on sports is not a victimless crime,” Rice said. “The multi-million dollar profits these operations take in are not generally spent on tuition bills or charitable giving. These profits are often the lifeblood of something more sinister. We will continue to follow the money. It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which people will go to avoid an honest day’s work. In addition to breaking the law, gambling rings cheat the tax system and skirt the rules we are all forced to live by.”

Rice said that search warrants executed Monday resulted in the seizure of approximately $50,000 cash, gambling records, gambling equipment and four vehicles.


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