Kenneth L. Boehm was incorrectly identified in yesterday's Washington Post as the attorney for the Capitol Plaza Shopping Center in Capitol Heights.

At least 21 people, including businessmen and a lawyer, have been arrested in connection with a Washington area gambling operation that generated as much as $500,000 a week in illegal bets on sporting events, Prince George's County police said yesterday.

The gambling operation, which was centered in Prince George's County but included outlets in Baltimore and Northern Virginia, specialized in heavy betting on football, boxing and the World Series, police said. Average bets ranged between $50 and $500, they said.

Among those arrested in connection with the police crackdown were the owner of Jimmy's Crab House in Landover, the part-owner of Caesar's II restaurant in West Lanham, the attorney for the Capitol Heights, and a junior high school teacher in Arlington, police said.

Because police said they captured the betting records of the operation intact, many more arrests of participants - bettors as well as bookies - are expected.

"This is not your casual, organized football pool around the office," said a county police spokesman. "This is organized crime."

Prince George's County spokesman Doug Hill said detectives in Prince George's Baltimore City, Baltimore Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Arlington and Fairfax counties had made the 21 arrests by early yesterday after beginning late Monday. He said two more arrests are expected in Virginia and eight more in Maryland.

The county police spokesman said the arrests netted not only the gambling records but $24,000 in cash and resulted in the arrests of three people allegedly in charge of the operation.

Hill said the three men arrested were Richard D. Cole, 37, and Edward G. Busby, 44, both of 6100 Westchester Park Dr., College Park, and Martin R. Errera, 50, of 5804 Annapolis Rd., Bladensburg. Errera owns Jimmy's Crab House. All were arrested at 6827 Annapolis Rd., Landover.

According to Hill, the house was the center of the alleged gambling operation.

The police spokesman said among those arrested were the "bookies" who sought out the bets as well as bettors.

County police said they plan to make additional arrests later from records they recovered, then charge all arrested with conspiracy to violate Maryland gambling laws. Police said all those arrested yesterday were released on personal recognizance.

The spokesman said the gambling operation used record sheets recorded on "flash paper," special paper that can be destroyed instantly with the burning tip of a cigaratte.

He said the investigation began because of information gathered from detectives who were investigating individuals in the operation. He said information developed from these investigations and information provided by an "informed source" prompted a request for a court-ordered wire-tap.

The wire-tap operation, begun last July, led to the arrests this week, the police spokesman added.

Police said betting transactions were handled over the telephone and that bettors would settle their accounts at the end of the week.

Also arrested, according to police, were Kenneth L. Boehm, 36, the attorney for Capitol Plaza Shopping Center, who lives at 1535 Whiff Ave., Edgewater; post-owner Cesare Morisi, 26, of Ceasar's II Restaurant, who lives at 5804 Annapolis Rd., Bladensburg: and Vincent Ragione, 57, of 5540 Marlboro Pike, District Heights, the owner of Oakland Inn restaurant.

Police said the arrests in Virginia included Tucher Freeman, 31, of 2212 Oakland St., Arlington, a teacher at Stratford Junior High School.