SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – Eleven people were taken into custody Wednesday night after searching an illegal gambling operation hidden in the back room of a Santa Ana company.
SWAT officers descended on what is known as a network, also known as a slap house, in which illegal slot machines are struck or played for money. Inmates were ordered to come out with their hands up.
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Within the illegal gambling operation, police found five stand-up slot machines, two slap machines, several slot machines and a cash machine.
“It’s not uncommon for us to go in and secure these places to find guns, drugs, and people with warrants,” said Cmdr. Jose Gonzales said. “There are a number of problems associated with these types of illegal and illegal places.”
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Illegal gambling is a growing trend that now accounts for half of the murders in the city this year, according to Santa Ana PD.
“To date we have committed six murders here in Santa Ana,” said Sonia Rojo of Santa Ana PD. “Three that we know of are connected to these nets or batting houses.”
Just last night, police said a man was fatally shot in an illegal gambling operation just two blocks from the Wednesday night raid. And last week dozens were arrested – and drugs, guns, and cash were confiscated – from a bump house hidden in the back of an Anaheim furniture store.
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“We get complaints about these illegal gambling games, either homes or businesses, almost daily,” said Gonzales.