Seventeen people, including some notable athletes with professional experience, have been arrested in connection with an online gambling ring, Rhode Island State Police announced Tuesday.
State Police Superintendent Steven O’Donnell said the arrests were the result of an eight-month investigation by state, federal and local officials.
The men were arrested during Tuesday morning in Cranston, Warwick, Scituate, North Providence, Narragansett and South Kingstown. They’re facing charges including bookmaking, organized criminal gambling and drug offenses.
The Providence Journal reports that a number of notable athletes from Rhode Island are among the suspects.
Chris Costantino, 24, of Warwick, was a pitcher drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2009 and Sean Furney, also 24 and from Warwick, signed as a free agent with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013. Both face organized criminal gambling and conspiracy charges.
Timothy Moretti, a 46-year-old from Cranston, is one of the alleged ringleaders for the gambling operation, which authorities have so far declined to name or discuss in detail, according to WPRI-TV.
The Journal reports Moretti is a known mob associate and former prison guard with a lengthy criminal history including drug and illegal gambling charges. He faces bookmaking, organized criminal gambling, conspiracy and probation violation charges.
A spokeswoman for Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s office confirmed all 17 suspects were arraigned in district court Tuesday afternoon but couldn’t immediately provide details. Police say the investigation is ongoing.