BATAVIA, NY - Arrests made in a sports gambling ring in Batavia include two city firefighters who allegedly were running part of the operation from a fire hall.
Bets allegedly were taken on college and professional games. The arrests came after a six-month investigation and charges indicate the operation involved five or more bets totaling at least $5,000.
"These weren't nickel-and-dime guys," said Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jerry Brewster.
Sheriff Gary Maha added, "According to our investigation they were profiting. They wouldn't be doing this if they weren't making some money."
The books containing the gambling records were described as being meticulous and extensive, almost leaving no paper trail behind. Sergeant Steven Mullen told 2 On Your Side, "We don't have you know full names. They obviously have a system that we haven't had the opportunity to look at, or look into figuring out, you know or identifying all the people. You know we'll be working on that and you know no phone numbers that we've found so far."
According to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:
Firefighters Gregory Phillips, 39, and Brian Bordinaro, 43, were arrested Thursday on felony charges. Phillips also faces a felony drug possession charge after a search warrant turned up a small quantity of cocaine at his home.
A search of Fire Department lockers also found gambling materials.
Also arrested in the gambling ring was Lane Engel, 41. All three men live in Batavia.
The firefighters have been suspended with pay. It was the city that tipped off authorities, according to Batavia City Manager Jason Molino. Authorities continue to sort through items seized at the men's homes and the Fire Department lockers.
Investigators sent the computers to their regional forensics lab here in Buffalo to see if they could pull out valuable information off the hard drives.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle