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6 area men enter guilty pleas in football betting operation


An article in yesterday's editions incorrectly stated the plea made and sentence received by one of six men charged in a gambling conspiracy. Kevin Charles Keller of Baltimore did not plead guilty and was not ordered to perform community service. His case was placed on the court's stet, or inactive docket. Charges will be dropped if he has no similar charge filed against him within one year.

The Sun regrets the error.

Six men tied to a football betting operation in Baltimore City and Baltimore and Harford counties pleaded guilty to gambling conspiracy charges yesterday in Harford District Court.

In a plea arrangement, none will serve jail time.

Judge Emory A. Plitt tailored the sentences to account for each defendant's role in the Aberdeen-based operation that the prosecutor said earned an average profit of $6,500 a week last fall in bets on National Football League and National Collegiate Athletic Association games.

All but Thomas Joseph Bradley Sr., 72, of the 2300 block of Wonderview Court in Timonium were given probation before judgment.

Mr. Bradley, identified by prosecutor Michael Sanger as the operation's ringleader, received a one-year suspended jail sentence.

He was placed on 18 months of supervised probation and ordered to forfeit $25,000, a telephone answering machine, a fax machine and a police radio scanner, all seized in a raid of his home Dec. 12.

Theodore G. Mills Sr., 56, of the 700 block of Custis St. in Aberdeen was the operation's money man, Mr. Sanger said. He took the bets by telephone and reported to Mr. Bradley, Mr. Sanger said.

Mr. Mills was placed on 18 months of supervised probation and ordered to complete 50 hours of community service by Jan. 1.

Vice detectives from the Harford County Sheriff's Office and Baltimore County Police Department, acting on a tip, began investigating Mr. Mills and Mr. Bradley in October.

Using wire taps, they taped evidence showing how the operation worked and then conducted simultaneous search and seizure raids in December in Aberdeen, Timonium and Perry Hall to shut down the operation. All six defendants formally were charged in March.

Richard Carl Zappardino, 49, of the 1500 block of Bowley's Quarters Road in eastern Baltimore County was the operation's bookkeeper, Mr. Sanger said. In addition to 18 months of supervised probation and 50 hours of community service to be performed by Jan. 1, Mr. Zappardino was ordered to forfeit $5,900.

Mr. Sanger said the other three defendants placed bets or brought in bets for the operation.

They are Kevin Charles Keller, 31, of the 2800 block of Maryland Ave. in Baltimore; Gerard Lawrence Furst, 51, of the 4300 block of Bedrock Ave. in White Marsh; and John Francis Fell, 60, of the 4400 block of Camellia Road in Perry Hall.

Mr. Keller was given 50 hours of community service to complete by Jan. 1. His case was placed on the court's inactive docket for one year, meaning that charges could be dropped if he does not have any legal troubles during that time.

Mr. Furst received 18 months of supervised probation, 50 hours of community service and was ordered to forfeit $4,000.

Mr. Fell, who was called the "least involved," received 18 months of unsupervised probation and was ordered to forfeit $751.

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