The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) conducted a raid early Tuesday morning on an establishment suspected of operating an illegal underground gambling den.
On December 3 at approximately 4:30 am local time, LBPD’s Vice Investigations Detail, with assistance from SWAT, issued a search warrant at a business located in the 6400 block of Long Beach Boulevard.
The storefront at the intersection of Long Beach Blvd. and Neece Avenue posed as Nisey’s Thrift Store. But in the rear of the establishment, police claim an illegal gambling den was being operated.
The raid led to the arrests of 11 individuals, with 42-year-old Jimmy Trinh booked on charges of accepting illegal wagers. 36-year-old Edmond Sims was the only person injured in the raid when he fled on foot, but was attacked by a police dog. He was booked on willful harm to a K-9 with serious injury, and resisting arrest.
The nine others who were arrested were all taken into custody on outstanding warrants.
Not So Secretive Operation
Police were tipped off to the alleged underground gambling shop by nearby residents, who complained about what seemed to be excessive activity at the building at odd hours.
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,” Long Beach Council member Rex Richardson said.
Adjacent to the suspected gambling den is the Miracle Prayer Temple Mission, which Pastor Dorothy Davis advertises as a “prayer room” that offers “miracles, signs, and wonders.”
Despite Richardson’s claims that the area is a “great uptown neighborhood,” nearly all of the homes and businesses have their doors and windows secured with iron bars. The site of the raid is within walking distance of Compton, a city notorious for its crime.
The Long Beach Blvd. and Neece Ave location is also just a mile from the Crystal Casino, a legal card room.
California doesn’t have any commercial casinos – only card rooms, where no house-banked table games or slot machines are offered. However, the Golden State has dozens of tribal casinos that offer both slots and tables, but they’re predominantly in remote regions on Native American sovereign reservations.
Long Beach Police were seen confiscating several multiplayer electronic gaming machines. The devices are similar to those that have been seized by law enforcement and federal authorities at numerous illegal gambling dens across California in recent years.
The FBI says illegal gambling operations have become a major problem, specifically in Vietnamese communities. The Vietnamese who settled in Southern California after the fall of Saigon in 1975 brought with them their cultural love of gambling.
On October 16, Long Beach Police raided an alleged illegal gambling parlor in the Wrigley neighborhood after a person was murdered at the establishment. Eleven people were arrested. Eight days earlier, the same police department arrested eight people at a discount store after illicit gambling devices were discovered.
An in July, Long Beach Police broke up an illegal gambling operation that resulted in three arrests.