Five persons involved in what Montgomery County police described as a "multimillion-dollar-a-year organized gambling operation" were arrested in the past week by Montgomery and Prince George's County police.
The arrests on gambling charges resulted from a five-month investigation by both police departments of an organization that took bets on horse races, sports contests and numbers games, according to Montgomery Police spokesman Cpl. Phillip Caswell.
After receiving information about the organization, Montgomery County police received permission to place wiretaps on three telephones in June, Caswell said.
The arrests were made as a result of information obtained from the wiretaps, Caswell said.
Caswell said the five persons arrested by Montgomery County police are Norman James Smith, 43, of 7420 West Lake Ter., Bethesda; Gay Pauline Smith, 38, of 11382 Cherry Hill Rd., Beltsville; Rosemary Agnes Brennan, 30, of 2401 Glenallen Ave., Silver Spring; Patrick Conroy Burch, 52, of 12200 Edgemont St., Wheaton, and Robert John Ruggieri of 6007 Riggs Rd., Hyattsville.
Norman Smith, Gay Smith and Ruggieri also were arrested on gambling charges by Prince George's County police after police searched Gay Smith's apartment, according to Sgt. Kenneth Pounsberry of the Prince George County police.
The group, which police said was headed by Norman Smith, took in about $150,000 a week in bets on various sports activities and numbers games, Caswell said. Pounsberry said some of the group took bets over the telephone and that the operation was conducted out of homes or business establishments.