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2 charged in alleged sports gambling ring

Two Clearwater men were arrested and more than $3,000 in cash was seized early Thursday after a monthlong undercover investigation of what authorities called a major sports and blackjack gambling operation.

William R. Allison, 27, of 19135 U.S. 19 N, and Richard E. Noh, 30, of 220 Fairwood Ave., were arrested after Pinellas County sheriff's detectives with search warrants raided their apartments, sheriff's Sgt. Greg Tita said.

Allison and Noh were charged with keeping a gambling house, possession of a gambling device and bookmaking. They were released from the Pinellas County Jail after posting $15,250 bail each.

When detectives raided Allison's apartment, they found a group of men involved in a casino-type blackjack card game, Tita said. Five men who were wagering $10 per hand were given notices to appear in court on misdemeanor gambling charges.

He said detectives seized $3,144.99 in cash.

Arrest affidavits said wagering from card games averaged more than $500 per day. In addition, Tita said undercover detectives _ who also gathered evidence by going through the man's trash _ made sports bets with Allison.

It was uncertain how often card games happened, but often the stakes were high.

"The amounts of wagers varied widely, but it was not uncommon for there to be many hundreds of dollars on the table," Tita said.