Busy week for police
There were major busts of illegal gambling operations made over the past week in New York and California. The raids in both states were carried out as part of an extensive campaign across the country to curtail unlawful gambling activity.
In California, law enforcement officers busted an alleged illegal gambling operation in the San Fernando Valley and had to call in a local SWAT team to assist.
The operation took place on Wednesday night, with police using a battering ram to gain entry into the building. A news helicopter circulating above the establishment captured footage of the operation.
While up to a dozen people found on the premises were detained initially, only one of them was arrested. There has yet to be a publication of a report detailing what the charges may be related to.
New York bust
In New York, local police were working with federal agents to shut down a significant gambling operation with mob links. There were 17 arrests made on Staten Island last week relating to alleged participation in illegal gambling, among other charges. A couple of those taken into custody are said to have connections with a local crime family.
17 arrests made on Staten Island last week relating to alleged participation in illegal gambling
The raid came after a three-year investigation into the operation. The probe began in November 2017, following a bizarre event which involved one of the men arrested last week. At the time, he had placed a GPS device on a bus to track the movements of his then girlfriend. When the device was discovered by the authorities, it set off the investigation.
Allegations of racketeering have been levied against some of those arrested in Staten Island. This occurred after authorities overheard a conversation between two men involved in the investigation, during which they spoke about potentially fixing an NCAA basketball game. The authorities did not publicize the specifics of what game it was and which colleges were involved.
One of the men allegedly said he could try “offering to pay thousands of dollars to multiple members of a basketball team so that they would intentionally lose by a lot.”
Not long before the game in question was to take place, a text was sent by one of the men telling an acquaintance to not bet on the game. It said, “Ok I wouldn’t trust the game I was telling u about” and “I’m not touching it personally”.