Feds in Calif. bust international gambling ring

AP News
Posted: Jun 19, 2013 3:27 PM

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Federal authorities have charged 18 people with involvement in an illegal gambling ring they say spanned from California to Peru and used violence against customers with outstanding debts.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego unsealed an indictment Wednesday charging the defendants with operating an illegal Internet and telephone sports betting business involving millions of dollars.

Officials say FBI agents arrested 14 suspects Wednesday in San Diego and Los Angeles in connection with the case against the Lima, Peru-based company, Macho Sports. One person alleged to be a ringleader, Erik Portocarrero, was arrested in Norway.

Authorites say Portocarrero and his brother, Jan Harald Portocarrero, moved Macho Sports to Panama and then Peru after being convicted in the United States on gambling charges.

They could not be immediately reached for comment.