Man pleads in San Diego betting case

Updated: May 25, 2012, 1:34 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- A California man has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he was part of a betting ring involving the University of San Diego men's basketball team.

Richard Thweni of El Cajon pleaded guilty Thursday in San Diego to conspiracy to commit sports bribery, conduct an illegal gambling business and distribute marijuana. He is among 10 defendants who have been charged with the betting ring.

Prosecutors say Brandon Johnson, a former basketball star at San Diego, was recruited to throw games as part of the scheme.

U-T San Diego reports Thweni, 29, faces up to five years in prison. He will be sentenced in August.

As part of the plea agreement, Thweni admitted to operating a sports book between January 2009 and April 2011, and trying to collect an outstanding gambling debt.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press