Long Beach, California needs to find a way to boost its legal gambling options. Several high-profile illegal gambling incidents over recent months would seem to indicate that locals have too much free time or not enough regulated methods to gamble and the latest crackdown snared what might be a local record. 64 people were detained by police in a raid on a business yesterday that had been identified as operating as an illegal gambling hall.
According to the Long Beach Post, detectives and SWAT officers descended upon a North Long Beach business before the sun rose yesterday, serving a warrant and throwing a net over everything and everyone present. Inside the business, which appeared from the outside to be a thrift store, the law enforcement officials found 11 gambling machines and an unspecified amount of cash.
While 64 individuals were initially detained, only 11 of those were ultimately taken into custody, and not all of them were arrested for participating in the gambling activity. Many were found to have outstanding warrants, with only one person, Jimmy Trinh, being arrested on suspicion of illegal gambling. One of the others arrested, Edmond Sims, was injured when he tried to escape following the raid. His getaway was foiled by a K-9 dog and he had to be taken to the hospital for his injuries.
Long Beach isn’t an overly large city and the area around the business, which is located on Long Beach Blvd., isn’t exactly hidden. Residents have reportedly filed complaints over the past several months about the thrift store’s hidden activities, and Councilman Rex Richardson said in a statement following the raid, “I am grateful that our detectives took decisive action in cracking down on these activities and protecting the quality of life of the families who live in this great Uptown neighborhood.”
In October, police moved in on two supposed illegal gambling operations on two separate dates. The first occurred on October 8 when eight people were arrested at a property that was designed to look like a discount store. About a week later, 50 people were detained at a different property on Pacific Avenue for illegal gambling.
More attention is being given to illegal gambling in the area after two shootings took place in August and October. In the August incident, a local man died after being shot while at an illegal gambling operation that was subsequently shut down. In October, an illegal gambling house on Long Beach Blvd. saw a shootout that left a man in critical condition.