At the beginning of last month, law enforcement officials busted an illegal gambling ring operating in Los Angeles, California. 35 individuals were arrested with charges ranging from illegal gambling, illegal firearm sales, illegal drug possession and more, and law enforcement officials said that they were getting serious about breaking up illegal gambling operations. Now, LA’s brethren in blue in Kern County have busted another operation, this one in South Bakersfield. Consistent with the previous raid, police uncovered both illegal gambling and illegal firearms.
The hidden gambling parlor was home to an eight-person fish table gaming console and six computers used for illegal gambling. Police also found four illegal guns – two of which had previously been reported stolen – and 3,000 rounds of ammunition.
Four individuals were arrested, including the operators of the facility, James and Jeffrey Helm. James was busted for “operating an illegal gambling operation, and conspiracy to commit a crime,” while Jeffrey was arrested on charges of “operating an illegal gambling casino, receiving stolen property, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, convicted felon in possession of ammunition, and conspiracy to commit a crime.” The relationship between the two wasn’t provided.
The other two that were taken into custody include Angelica Crotwell and Maryanne Yeakley. They were arrested, but apparently for outstanding misdemeanor warrants – not for any relation to the operations.
In a statement, the Kern County Sheriffs Office said, “The execution of the search warrant was the culmination of a week-long investigation by Metro Patrol deputies into the gambling activities at the location. Deputies located an eight-person ‘Fish Table’ gaming console and six computer terminals in the building.”
This isn’t the first time this year that Kern County law enforcement has busted an illegal gambling ring. This past April, another operation was found in Bakersfield that had an almost identical setup in games. When police moved in, they made several arrests, confiscated over $5,000 in cash and seized almost 255 grams of illicit drugs.
California doesn’t offer commercial gambling – a limitation some are hoping can be overturned – but there are a number of tribal casinos. Across the state, there are 70 venues, including one right in Bakersfield where the recent busts have taken place.