San Antonio investigators conducted two successful raids on illegal gambling, resulting in twenty arrests and the recovery of 70 gaming machines. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Money, guns and machines
Two raids in San Antonio led to twenty arrests and the recovery of 70 illegal slot machines.
“We’re happy that both are closed for now,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said during a news conference. “We’ll see how many people end up in prison as a result of both processes.”
The authorities also found materials suspected of being illegal drugs
Several of the Wednesday morning arrests were against armed guards stationed at both locations. The authorities also found substances suspected of being illegal drugs and spent the following hours searching for larger quantities of these substances.
Arrests at two gambling sites in San Antonio
At least one location, both on the western side of the city, was protected by an armored gate that required a destroyed ram to enter.
One of the statues was located on Guadalupe Avenue, the other on Bandera Road, about 20 miles away.
All the gaming machines recovered were eight-liners, which are exact replicas of traditional slot machines. The same machines have been found in previous raids in Texas and Bexar County.
Representatives also recovered a few thousand dollars from the Bandera statue.
Gambling is illegal in Texas in all its forms, including sports betting, casino betting, and slot machine betting (government-operated lotteries being the exception). But this has not stopped people from trying to run illegal gambling operations.
Lonestar State carried out one of its most successful raids a little over a year ago when authorities recovered $350,000 and other illegal items in what it called “the largest large-scale gambling operation” in years.
The city also recovered more than $15,000 and nearly 100 from eight lines during a successful raid in May of this year. Three men were detained as a result of that operation.
Connecting to biker gangs
Local authorities suspected that the criminal centers worked with each other. They also said they had “very clear ties to outlaw motorcycle gangs”.
Among the items recovered from one of the scenes was a Maldetus motorcycle jacket. Investigators also found a plaque commemorating “Bandidos MC”.
Malditos is a motorcycle club based in Tijuana, Mexico. Bandidos is a global helicopter gang widely known as one of the most dangerous groups in America.
Police received approval for their work from a local judge after an initial investigation supported criminal activity at both locations. They hope their continued efforts will help remove all illegal gambling activities from the area.