SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Eleven people were taken into custody Wednesday night after an illegal gambling operation hidden in the back room of a Santa Ana business got raided.
SWAT officers descended on what they call a net, also known as a slap house, where illegal gambling machines are slapped or played for cash. Those inside were ordered to come out with their hands up.
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Inside the illegal gambling operation, police found five stand up gambling machines, two slap machines, several slot machines and a cash counting machine.
“It’s not uncommon for us when we go in and secure these locations to find guns, drugs, people with warrants,” Santa Ana Police Department Cmdr. Jose Gonzales said. “There’s a whole host of problems that are associated with these type of illegal and illicit locations.”
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Illegal gambling is a growing trend, and one that Santa Ana PD said now accounts for half of the city’s murders this year.
“To date we have six murders that have occurred here in Santa Ana,” Sonia Rojo, of Santa Ana PD, said. “Three that we know of are associated to these nets or slap houses.”
Just last night, police said a man was fatally shot inside of an illegal gambling operations just two blocks away from Wednesday night’s raid. And, last week, dozens were arrested — and drugs, weapons and cash were seized — from a slap house hidden in the back of an Anaheim furniture store.
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“We get complaints almost on a daily basis about these illegal gambling either houses or businesses,” Gonzales said.