Thursday May 30, 2013 : MORE CALIFORNIA INTERNET CAFE GAMBLING BUSTS
Visalia police seize 60 computers; charge operators
The California blitz on illegal internet cafe sweepstake-style gambling continued Tuesday when police armed with search warrants simultaneously raided two internet cafes in this small city, charging three employees and seizing evidence that included 60 computers.
Visalia Police spokesman Sgt. Ozzie Dominguez said none of those actually gambling were arrested, mainly because police were more interested in those who operated the businesses.
The three employees charged were Victor Ramirez Herrera (23); Nawras Nader (38); and Yaghob Algher (22).
“It’s a misdemeanor crime, so the real punishment comes from the cost of losing all these computers,” said Visalia Police Sgt. Curtis Brown.
The California Department of Justice, Bureau of Gambling Control, has deemed the type of businesses that offer sweepstake games illegal.
Police believe both sites opened sometime last summer. Neighbouring businesses say the foot traffic was slow at first, but picked up once word got out that slot-style online gambling was available.
Dominguez said officers over a three-month period were sent in to gamble and get additional details on how the operation worked.