19 arrested in Southern California gambling operation
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) — Police arrested 19 people accused of being involved in an illegal gambling operation at a Southern California home, officials said.
Neighbors complained to police and officers served a search warrant at the residence in Garden Grove Wednesday evening, the Orange County Register reported.
Police seized a dozen gambling-machine consoles and a handgun, Garden Grove police Sgt. Troy Haller said.
The city typically sees 10 to 15 gambling operations per year, Haller said.
“A common theme in these places is illegal drugs such as methamphetamine being consumed,” he told the newspaper. “Also, they are typically using criminal street gangs as security due to the amount of cash flowing through these enterprises.”
Haller said the people who play the machines are typically arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor illegal gambling violations, while those running the operation could face felony charges. Some of those arrested Wednesday also faced outstanding arrest warrants, he said.
Once the machines are seized, they are held as evidence and eventually destroyed, Haller said.