A 52-year-old Chevy Chase man and a pharmacist from Laurel were arrested last night on gambling charges stemming from what police described as a multimillion-dollar sports betting operation with ties to illegal gambling across the East Coast and Canada.

Montgomery County police charged Fred P. Sawczyn of 4801 Cumberland Ave., Chevy Chase, with 25 misdemeanor counts of gambling as well as conspiracy to violate Maryland gambling laws and maintaining a common nuisance.

Prince George's County Police arrested John H. Dougherty, 56, of 222 Patuxent Rd., Laurel, on misdemeanor charges of sports bookmaking and maintaining a premises for gambling. Police said Dougherty also owns Dougherty's Pharmacy in Laurel.

Police said they served search warrants at the homes of both men, culminating a four-month investigation in which undercover officers allegedly placed bets with Sawczyn or Dougherty on an almost-daily basis. They said the alleged operation handled about $20,000 in bets a day.

Authorities in Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and Ontario conducted similar raids at other alleged gambling operations that had engaged in heavy telephone traffic with Sawczyn and Dougherty during peak betting hours, according to investigators here.

Both Sawczyn and Doughtery were being held last night pending bond hearings.