Thursday, February 22, 2018
Public safety

Documents detail raid that led to gambling charge against ex-NFL player Donald Caldwell

TAMPA — Officers found $23,000, a money counter, and a three-room gambling operation earlier this month in the raid that resulted in the arrest of a former NFL player, police documents show.

Donald Reche Caldwell, a former University of Florida wide receiver and Jefferson High School standout, faces charges of keeping a gambling house and bookmaking as a result of a three-month investigation by Tampa police, according to a search warrant filed Thursday in Hillsborough County Circuit Court.

Caldwell of Tampa was one of eight men arrested Jan. 5 after police served a warrant at 1746 and 1748 W Main St. Police started investigating Caldwell and the others in October. Inside the building, police found two betting rooms and a "control" room outfitted with several computers, documents listing odds and wager information, and wager receipt printers.

There were multiple surveillance cameras in the structure, police said. They also found a gun inside Caldwell's Jeep, although the warrant does not say Caldwell illegally possessed the gun, and he was not charged with any gun-related crime.

Caldwell, 34, spent six seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots and Washington Redskins. His record of 141 career catches ranks eighth among all Gator receivers; and his record of 10 consecutive games with a touchdown catch is second all-time among Gator wideouts, just one shy of Reidel Anthony's 11-game streak. He is the older brother of Andre Caldwell, a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos.

Will Hobson can be reached at (813) 226-3400 or [email protected]

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