U.S. Sportsbetting Suspects In More Trouble


Cash found stashed under lawn

You would think that one clash with US law enforcement agencies would be more than enough for any suspect, but the Philadelphia media this week reported on two Montgomery County, Pennsylvania men who were in trouble again for allegedly continuing to operate a sports betting ring across the United States.

Joseph V. Mastronardo Jr. (60) and John Mastronardo (54) were already on probation after filing guilty pleas in 2006 on bookmaking charges . Now they find themselves under scrutiny once again.

Enforcement officials swooped mid-week on their homes, seizing some $2 million in cash, much of it taken along with computers and allegedly bookie records at Joseph Mastronardo's luxurious home - and some of it stashed in a pipe under the lawn. The raids were carried out by local police departments, state police and FBI agents from Fort Washington and Florida, acting on 46 search warrants executed in Montgomery County, Philadelphia and Boca Raton, Florida.

Montgomery County investigators claimed in a probable cause court affidavit that the brothers never stopped running their betting operation despite their 2006 guilty pleas. The officials used wire-tapping tactics to build evidence against the two suspects, reporting that in a recent telephonic conversation Joseph Mastronardo Jr said: "Times like this, I'm happy I'm still a bookmaker."

The authorities listened in to five cellular telephones used by the betting ring, and amassed additional evidence from two confidential informants.

"Our investigation revealed the Mastronardo bookmaking enterprise is substantial, [and] extremely profitable," detectives noted in the probably cause affidavit.

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