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Four arrested for operating illegal casino in California

Tue, Dec 18, 10:37am by Staff Writer

Police have arrested three women and one man for allegedly operating an illegal casino in Pomona.

Authorities said Saturday that the Pomona Police Department’s Major Crimes Task Force and SWAT team served a search warrant Friday, where they believed an illegal gambling casino was operating and that several Pomona gang members went there.“

“As officers executed the search warrant, they encountered over 20 subjects inside the location to include Pomona gang members,” Corporal J. Hernandez said.

“Once everyone was safely detained, officers went inside the business and located an active casino equipped with various slot machines and gaming devices.”

All the gaming machines and devices have since been seized by police, according to NBC Los Angeles.

It is believed that the casino was frequented by local gang members in the area. The area does not have a local casino, however there are numerous casinos and poker rooms within Los Angeles and the state of California.

Pomona is located about 48 kilometres east of Los Angeles and is neighboured by counties West Covina, Chino, Ontairo, Rancho Cucamonga. It is also approximately 35 kilometres distance from Anaheim.

Four of 20 people detained had outstanding warrants

Corporal Hernandez added that four of the 20 people detained had outstanding warrants for parole and probation violations.

Sheriff inmate information released that Doreen Herrera of Pomona was being held on a no-bail warrant at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood; Kristal Santistevan of Ontario was behind bars in the Pomona jail on $50,000 bail; Gerardo Acosta of Pomona was being held on no bail at the Pomona jail; and Diana Negrete of Pomona was released from custody on $30,000 bail.

Incident follows illegal casino discoveries in Ohio

The incident in Pomona follows a similar illegal casino finding in Ohio nearly a fornight ago, where on December 5, the Ohio Casino Control Commission officials raided five locations Wednesday after receiving reports of illegal casino operations.

Officials served warrants on five locations associated with the operation, with gaming equipment, cash and documents seized during a multi-county raid in Clermont and Brown counties on Wednesday, December 5.

The commission initiated the investigation after receiving complaints that retailer Choice Cigar & Tobacco in Bethel was operating illegal slot machines, according to spokeswoman Jessica Franks.

The investigation identified additional addresses in Brown and Clermont counties owned by the same person that were alleged to have also paid out cash prizes.

No arrests were made from the raids, with 25 illegal slot machines being disabled and an indeterminate amount of cash confiscated, according to Franks.

This is the first raid of this type in Southwestern Ohio, Franks said. The Casino Control Commission has conducted similar operations in the state in the last three years.

“Illegal casinos prey on vulnerable Ohioans, operate without proper oversight, and offer no recourse for consumers,” Ohio Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matthew Schuler said in a statement. “

The Commission will continue to hold accountable those who disregard Ohio’s gambling laws, and we appreciate the assistance of our law enforcement partners in today’s operation.”

The operation was conducted with assistance of authorities with the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office, Clermont County Prosecutor’s Office, Bethel Police Department, Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, Georgetown Police Department, and the Mount Orab Police Department.

The United States have experienced reforms in the gambling industry in recent times.

Most notably in May 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992. This has resulted in sports betting being legalised in various parts of the country.


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