Dozens of illegal gambling halls attacked in San Diego
Photo by Susan Murphy
Law enforcement officers in California raided dozens of illegal casinos in San Diego on Wednesday, ending a multi-year investigation that resulted in nearly 50 people facing gambling, firearms charges and drugs by the federal government, authorities said.
More than 450 officers, led by an FBI task force, deployed to eastern San Diego in morning raids on two dozen locations that resulted in 35 arrests, according to a statement from the US attorney’s office. .
A total of 47 people are indicted in a series of unsealed federal indictments on Wednesday. Some have been accused of selling methamphetamine to gamers.
During a two-year investigation, authorities seized more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine, 640 slot machines, 44 guns and more than $ 260,000 in cash, authorities said.
Authorities have attacked what they say are illegal gambling halls inside apartments, outhouses, small businesses and malls that make thousands of dollars a day.
Authorities have said they have been associated with violence and the sale of drugs, some of which have been linked to gangs.
“According to court records, it’s common for employees to hand out small amounts of methamphetamine and ‘comp’ clients to keep them playing and coming back for more,” the US attorney’s office said.
“It is rare to have a customer who does not use or sell methamphetamine inside these places,” the statement said.
In addition to suspected drug traffickers, those arrested today include alleged business owners as well as “employees who acted as doormen, security and bankers; those who check the machines; and those who collect the money, ”the statement said.
“We have brought down the illegal gambling dens and we have made our neighborhoods lighter,” Interim US Attorney Randy Grossman said. “The law-abiding citizens who live in these neighborhoods will be safer without these crime magnets among them.”
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