MORE CALIFORNIA INTERNET CAFE BUSTS
17th May, 2013 at 16:56:59
Tracy police seize a hundred computers and other evidence of online gambling
The city of Tracy has become the latest municipality in California to crack down on internet cafe "sweepstakes" style online gambling following a police raid on a central city Internet café that resulted in the confiscation of a hundred computers and other evidence.
Local police were assisted by a multi-agency force of state and federal investigators in the raid on the Computer Crazy Internet café, following four months of investigation into alleged online gambling at the business.
Sgt. Alex Neicu of Tracy Police Department said the investigation began when the police department's Special Investigations Unit was told by patrol officers of suspicious activity in January. Officers reported that they had received complaints from neighbouring business owners if suspicious activity.
The reports triggered a clandestine sting operation, which indicated that gambling offences were being committed.
As far as we could tell there was no legitimate, non-gambling use of the business, Neicu said.
Investigators subsequently visited the home of the internet cafe owner armed with a search warrant, but would not release the identity of the owner to the media.
Sgt. Neicu said officers seized about 50 computers at the business and another 50 machines at the owner's home, along with $65,000 in cash and various documents.
Other agencies involved in the bust included the California Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Employment Development District Office and the Department of Industrial Relations.
Neicu said Homeland Security was called in to trace the finances of the online gambling operation.
Other recent Californian internet cafe raids have taken place in Manteca, Stockton, Lodi and Modesto (see previous reports).
Investigation into the gambling operation is continuing, Neicu said. The results of the police enquiries will be forwarded to the San Joaquin County District Attorney's office.
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