2 In USD Bribery Case Linked To Home Invasion

David Gates, Steve Warda Goria Allegedly Involved In December Home-Invasion Robbery

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

The defendants allegedly carried out a Dec. 15 burglary during which four Rancho San Diego residents were tied up and blindfolded in their Wildwind Drive home and robbed of 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.

Salmu and Shaba were arraigned on robbery, burglary and conspiracy charges Friday morning.

Gates and Goria are scheduled to make their first court appearances in the home-invasion case on May 19.

Earlier this month, both men 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.

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