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Spike in Homicides a Result of Illegal Gambling Dens Claim Law Enforcement

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Mar/11/2021

Eight homicides in Santa Ana, California, and half of them are being blamed on illicit gambling.

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What's Going On Here

  • “Various types of crimes in and around illegal gambling dens have drastically impacted the quality of life in both our neighborhoods and also business districts,” Santa Ana police Chief David Valentin said during a Thursday news conference.
  • During a news conference Thursday, Santa Ana Police displayed two illegal gambling devices that were seized since the start of the year.
  • “What we’ve determined … is that there is a tie to Asian organized crime that oversees a large part of this industry. It’s not exclusive but it’s a large part,” Valentin said.  “Unfortunately what they’re doing is hiring gang members to provide security, armed gang members in and around these facilities.”
  • Last month, a man was fatally shot outside a gambling operation on Harbor Boulevard.
  • In January, four people were shot and wounded when suspects entered a gambling den and started firing. The victims in that case survived.
  • Over 300 arrests have been made, 70 firearms and 170 gambling machines have been seized.
  • 36 of 41 identified illegal gambling dens have been shut down by law enforcement recently.
  • Though the chief did not attribute one reason for the increase in homicides, mostly shootings, he said those related to illegal gambling are possibly connected.
  • To quell the violence, in recent weeks police have started sending special units, including the gang unit, to target problem areas.

- Jagajet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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