JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Sheriff John Rutherford says the five-year investigation into two JSO employees for involvement in Operation Reveal the Deal hurt, but was necessary.
"Nobody gets a pass. Nobody's above the law."
They are Nelson Cuba and Robbie Freitas, the former President and Vice-President of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police.
In a news conference Wednesday, Sheriff Rutherford said he first learned of their possible involvement in a gambling scheme five years ago.
In 2007, the JSO targeted a criminal enterprise that led them to a separate criminal investigation into Allied Veterans of the World.
By 2008, Rutherford says it was clear Cuba and Freitas were connected, but it took years to trace the paperwork and establish patterns between all those involved.
Now, Cuba and Freitas are among 49 people arrested Tuesday on 26 counts of illegal activity, including racketeering and operation of a gambling house.
A 400-page affidavit reviewed by Action News shows the pair were owners, operators or managers of six Internet cafes in Nassau and Duval counties since May 2007.
Police say some of the money made from the centers, which promoted themselves as a non-profit benefit for veterans' charities, was really funneled into three accounts established by Cuba.
One was in the name of the Fraternal Order of Police, another for the FOP Foundation, and a third set of personal and savings accounts at Vystar Credit Union.
The documents show, in total, more than $45 million was withdrawn from the accounts for the six cafes since 2008.
Action News is also learning that Cuba and Freitas established multiple for-profit shell companies in an effort to hide illegal activities.
Special Agent Dominick Pape of the FDLE says eight people are still being sought in relation to Operation Reveal the Deal on similar charges.
"This case is just beginning. There's a lot of money that changed hands, and when you have that volume of money, sometimes people do bad things."
Rutherford says Cuba and Freitas are now on leave without pay.