Pomona police raid suspected illegal casino, seize cash

Pomona police arrested at least 40 people after they raided an allegedly unlicensed casino at a mall and seized drugs, cash and firearms early Thursday morning, authorities said.

Pomona police served the search warrant at a building on the 600 block of West Indian Hill Drive before sunrise around 5 a.m., police spokeswoman Aly Mejia said.

Officers found a quarter pound of methamphetamine and two firearms, along with cash described by police as “a large amount”.

The Los Angeles County Attorney’s Office dispatched 18 officers to help with the raid, primarily to handle the paperwork for processing arrests. But those arrested in the raid were later released without charge or subpoena, Mejia said.

Away from the mall, authorities later arrested an individual in the neighboring San Bernardino County town of Chino on charges related to the gambling operation, police said. The person, who is on probation on a grand larceny charge dating back last year, was being held without bail, according to court documents.

Newscasts of the raid showed aerial photos of people sitting on a curb with their hands tied behind their backs, next to a building at the end of the mall with a rent-for-rent sign. The building previously housed a Zumba gym and, before that, a women’s clothing store.

California allows some forms of gambling, including tribal casinos operating on Native American reservations and licensed card rooms operating games such as poker. However, in 1996, California imposed a moratorium on issuing new cardroom licenses. According to a report by the San Diego Union-Tribune, there were 86 active cardroom licenses in the state as of 2021. The moratorium lasts until 2023.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-11/pomona-police-raid-suspected-illegal-casino-detain-dozens-of Pomona police raid suspected illegal casino, seize cash

Alley Einstein

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