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Alleged March Madness Betting Ring Raided

17 March 2000

The Associated Press reported that the Sacramento, California, sheriff's office has raided five sites linked to a Costa Rican sports book. Three men have been arrested in what is being described as the "local arm of a major offshore gambling ring."

With the annual NCAA basketball tournament - also known as "March Madness" - currently underway, Sacramento County sheriff's officials say the operation was attempting to cash in on the surge of wagering activity the tournament traditionally generates.

The AP also said tens of thousands of dollars in cash and assets were seized in the early morning raids Thursday. In the past several years federal and local authorities have timed investigations and subsequent arrests with the start of both the NCAA and NIT basketball tournaments.

According to Sgt. Tim Sheehan of the Sacramento Country sheriff's office, local gamblers who used the operation are not in danger of being prosecuted as a result of the raids.

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