Local

Visalia police bust illegal gambling operation

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

An undercover investigation has led to the shutdown of two South Valley businesses. Visalia police are now revealing more about the raid on what they claim was an illegal gambling operation.

Visalia police shut down Dreamland and Wonderland at 11 on Tuesday evening. Detectives say although the owners advertised both businesses as internet cafes, nearby shop owners knew that was just a front.

"We were told that prostitution may be going on there, drinking in public, maybe some drug sales," said Sgt. Ozzie Dominguez.

Police tell us those calls triggered a three month long investigation which uncovered the rooms were really used for illegal gambling. "Customers would come in and buy a calling card type card, buy credits on that, they would then sign up on a sweepstakes," said Sgt. Dominguez.

The so-called "phone cards" and "sweepstakes" investigators say, would give clients cash to gamble on games such as Keno, Blackjack, Poker and slots. We tracked down one of the gambling operation's employees, Yoghob Algher at his Woodlake home to ask him about the raid. "We would love to give you our side of the story but at the moment we are still dealing with everything and we are just not ready," said Algher.

Although he wouldn't comment on camera, we found several people who wanted to play Keno on the day of the raid. Bud Marlow said he didn't know it was an illegal operation.

Investigators have not released the names of the two suspects who ran the facility. Detectives spent Tuesday gathering evidence including several computers.

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Tags:
crimetracker, visalia, tulare county, local, mariana jacob
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