Ex-Red Sox Draftee arrested in Rhode Island Gambling Bust

Ex-Red Sox Draftee arrested in Rhode Island Gambling Bust

Rhode Island State Police recently busted a large gambling ring in their state, and a former Boston Red Sox pitching prospect was among those arrested.

Chris Costantino, 24, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2009, was among the 17 people arrested. Sean Furney, 24, who signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013, was also arrested in the sting. Both former baseball players are facing organized criminal gambling and conspiracy charges.

According to Boston.com, the arrests come after an eight-month investigation by federal, state and local authorities.

The investigation concluded that 17 men from the Rhode Island towns of Cranston, Warwick, Scituate, North Providence, Narragansett and South Kingstown were involved in the online gambling ring.

Police also believe that the ring sold drugs and committed other offenses along with the gambling ring.

Timothy Moretti, a 46-year-old from Cranston, is believed to have run the organized criminal operation. Moretti is a former prison guard and known mob member who has a history of drug and illegal gambling charges. He now faces additional charges for bookmaking, organized criminal gambling, conspiracy and violating probation.

The Rhode Island Attorney General’s office has confirmed that all 17 suspects were arraigned in district court last week. However, the attorney general’s office and state police are refusing to comment any further until the ongoing investigation has been concluded.

This is the second big online gambling ring that’s been busted in 2016. Back in January, Taiwanese authorities raided 55 locations across the country and arrested 53 people. The internet gambling ring collected collected NT$2 billion (US$60.5 million) in bets before the police raid.

Taiwanese police also closed down the Jiu Zhou online casino, which, Taiwanese lottery retailers complained, had an unfair advantage over state-run iGaming companies.

A big motivation for the raid was to prevent any influencing of the “outcome of elections” prior to January 16th. The operation’s ringleader, Kao Hung-yu, admitted to taking bets, but he denied offering wagers on elections.

Taiwan traditionally frowns on gambling outside of their state-run lottery operation. However, they passed legislation in 2009 that will allow for casinos to be built on the islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu.