by Christopher Mohr
April 13, 2011 (San Diego) - Ten people were indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday, April 8, for their part in a point-shaving and marijuana distributing operation. Three of the ten indicted included two former players and a former assistant coach from the University of San Diego basketball program.
Thaddeus Brown, 32, of El Cajon was an assistant coach at USD during the 2006-7 season. The indictment alleges that Brown, along with former USD player Brandon Dowdy, 22, solicited a person at UC-Riverside about fixing games there. Dowdy played at USD during the 2006-7 season before transferring to UC-Riverside.
According to a 2009 listing n the East County Gazette, a Thaddeus Brown filed a fictitious business listing with the County on April 14, 2009 to operate Next Level Basketball, a business that opened March 23, 2009 at 11360 Unit A, Via Rancho San Diego in El Cajon.
Another former USD player, Brandon Johnson, 24, is alleged to have taken a bribe to shave points while he played at USD in February 2010. Johnson, who played at USD from 2005-2010 and is the school's all-time leading scorer, is also alleged to have solicited an individual to fix a game at USD in 2011. On Saturday (4/9), he was arrested in Texas.
Steve Warda Goria, Paul Joseph Thweni and Richard Francis Garmo are the alleged ringleaders of the conspiracy for their role in organizing the operations mentioned in the indictment. Goria was involved in a standoff Monday morning (4/11) with San Diego and Federal law enforcement officers, who attempted to execute a search warrant at a Serra Mesa home Monday morning.
Goria initially refused to allow the officers to enter the home to perform their search. As a result, a SWAT team was called in and several nearby homes were evacuated. The standoff lasted about 90 minutes before Goria surrendered.