- Huntington police make arrests at secret gambling venue
- Offenses linked to crackdown on organized crime gangs
Cops in Long Island made a series of arrests this weekend after uncovering an alleged gambling den in a Huntingdon basement, reports the New York Post.
The video below shows Donald Trump on his MS-13 crackdown.
It reported that a raid on the Santa Rosa Restaurant revealed gambling operations in the basement, officials revealed in a statement. The raid was part of a larger operation aimed at tackling activities by MS-13, an international criminal gang, who are known to operate in the region.
’Gambling device’ seized by cops
Police have confirmed that they found “an illegal gambling den” in the basement of the Santa Rosa bar and restaurant, and five arrests were made during the raid.
Those who were arrested are charged with ‘possession of a gambling device’ and with offenses relating gambling promotion, while the bar owner faces court over alleged fire safety regulations and violations of the premises’ liquor license.
Gambling in New York is not illegal, with the state voting to relax regulations on commercial gaming venues in 2013. However, the industry is strictly controlled and monitored by state authorities.
Illegal gambling is still prevalent in the state, especially through online outlets and on sportsbooks – as well as in private gaming rooms like the one in Long Island.
The men arrested at the venue are thought to be local, and are aged between 20 and 53. While the raid took place as part of a wider investigation into the MS-13 gang, it is not known if these arrests relate directly to gang activities, or if police simply uncovered the gambling ring as part of their ongoing investigation.
While violent crimes, murder and racketeering are commonplace among MS-13’s ranks, illegal gambling is not often associated with the street crime syndicate.
President orders crackdown on crime
The raids came following a directive from the President to get tough on MS-13’s activities. President Trump visited New York last week to demand a crackdown on gang activities, naming the crime group and denouncing them as a “vile criminal cartel”. Over four months in 2016, the gang is thought to be responsible for 17 unsolved murders in Long Island, and MS-13 has strong historic links with the New York district.
He called for the addition of more Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, in order to achieve the crackdown’s aims. It is unclear what this will mean for the rest of New York’s illegal gambling.
With more raids expected in the ongoing operation against MS-13, it is thought that more gambling rings could be uncovered across Long Island.
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