Three men charged after an organized crime bust in the Ottawa area were released on bail Sunday morning.
Benedetto Manasseri, Stephen Parrish and Gary Saikaley were all held in custody after their arrests earlier this week.
All three men were required to post $10,000 bonds, and their sureties — one for each of the accused — were also required to post $10,000 bonds.
Eighteen other people were charged in connection with the case and a total of 54 charges were laid.
Project Amethyst, launched in September 2010 by the RCMP, targeted a gambling website run out of Ottawa.
Ottawa police and Ontario Provincial Police were also involved in executing search warrants in Ottawa and Gatineau in July and September of this year.
Prior convictions for accused
Saikaley, 49, is facing 18 charges including conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, recording or registering bets or selling a pool, engaging in bookmaking or pool-selling or being in the business or occupation of betting, being involved in a criminal organization and other charges.
He has a prior conviction of bookmaking from 2006, and was forced to pay a fine of $22,500.
Manasseri, 49, is facing 18 charges including conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, committing extortion by threats, accusations, menaces or violence, and being involved in a criminal organization.
He has prior criminal convictions from the 1980s.
Parrish, 45, is facing 15 charges including recording or registering bets or selling a pool, wilfully and knowingly sending any message that conveys any information relating to bookmaking, pool-selling, betting or wagering, committing extortion by threats, accusations, menaces or violence.
Police said two of the three are considered "leaders" in the large gaming operation, run through a website, which involved millions of dollars wagered on the Olympics, the NHL and NFL in the past six months.
Two small marijuana grow-ops were also seized.