Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police VP Pleads Guilty in Gambling Case

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Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police VP Pleads Guilty in Gambling Case

SANFORD, Fla. (Associated Press) — The longtime vice president of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police has pleaded guilty, but won't face any jail time for his role with a veterans' organization that prosecutors say was as a front for a $300 million gambling operation.

Robert Freitas made the plea in court Tuesday and has agreed to testify in other cases, if necessary.

"The state's not seeking any sanction beyond the time he's already served," said attorney Tad Yates, who represented Freitas.

Freitas was charged with multiple felonies, including illegally structuring financial transactions and running an illegal lottery. Freitas and Nelson Cuba, the former president of the Jacksonville FOP, were photographed making frequent cash deposits in a bank.

The statewide investigation into Allied Veterans of the World resulted in the arrest of 57 people, the passage of legislation outlawing Internet cafes and the successful prosecution of Allied Veterans attorney Kelly Mathis.

The arrests shut down an organization that had set up about 50 operations that prosecutors said appeared to be casinos. Prosecutors contend that patrons played computer games that appeared to be slot machines, but were actually running a sweepstakes program that thinly avoided the definition of gambling.

Many of the 57 Allied Veterans suspects have reached plea deals with prosecutors that will spare them jail time.

Earlier this month authorities made a second-round of arrests and executed search warrants in an effort to break up two Internet cafe operations that they say were promoting gambling.

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