Four arrested in brutal home-invasion robbery

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Four men were behind bars Friday on suspicion of carrying out an East County home-invasion robbery during which a family was bound and blindfolded, one of them was pistol-whipped and their dog was wounded by gunfire.

At the time of their arrests in the case, two of the suspects, David Gates, 34, and Steve Warda Goria, 32, were already in federal custody in connection with an alleged sports-bribery and game-fixing ring involving the University of San Diego men's basketball team, according to prosecutors.

The others — Ranse Shaba, 19, and 46-year-old Christopher Hikmat Salmu – – were taken into custody Thursday in downtown San Diego and National City, respectively, sheriff's Sgt. Jeff Maxin said.

The defendants allegedly carried out a Dec. 15 residential robbery during which four Rancho San Diego residents were tied up and blindfolded in their Wildwind Drive home before a group of masked thieves stole cash and jewelry.

During the crime, one of the victims was pistol-whipped, his daughter had a gun held to her head and their dog was shot. The animal survived and received emergency care at a veterinary clinic.

Earlier this month, Gates and Goria were among 10 people charged, in a federal indictment, with bribing college basketball players to alter the outcome of games so the defendants could ensure themselves of winning bets in Las Vegas.

The indictment accuses the defendants — among them former USD assistant basketball coach Thaddeus Brown and two of the Roman Catholic university's former basketball players, Brandon Dowdy and Brandon Johnson — of conspiracy to commit sports bribery, running an illegal sports bookmaking operation and distributing marijuana.

Johnson is USD's all-time leading scorer in men's basketball.

Categories: KUSI