Texas Gaming Room Raid Leads to Four Arrests, 14 Warnings


Posted: March 29, 2022, 9:16 a.m.

Last update: March 29, 2022, 01:01 a.m.

Three men and a woman were recently arrested in Corpus Christi, Texas following a police raid on a suspected illegal gambling operation. The place was run like a game room.

Sweetwater Club Game Raid
Police raid the Sweetwater Club in Corpus Christi, Texas, pictured above. Four suspects have been arrested. (Picture: KIII)

Additionally, 14 players at the arcade, identified by local police as the Sweetwater Club, received warnings last week for illegal gambling, police said.

Those arrested were identified by police as Madysin Kirkpatrick-Tazby, 21, Eden Pena, 26, Even Pena, 35, and Luis Sandoval, 34. Each was charged with promoting gambling, maintaining a gambling venue and possessing a gambling device.

If convicted, each count could mean up to a year in prison and/or a $4,000 fine. In addition, the three men were charged with illegal possession of a weapon. Police said they had handguns in their possession.

Cash and gambling equipment seized

During the raid, police seized gambling equipment, two vehicles and an undisclosed amount of cash.

There has been a misconception here over the past year that these gambling halls are operating legally. Simply opening a gambling hall does not make it illegal. Corpus Christi Police Deputy Chief Todd Green told the TV station KIII, a local television channel. “What makes it illegal is when you start paying cash for rewards.

Prizes awarded to players cannot exceed 10 times the amount for playing the machine once – or five dollars, KIII mentioned. The lesser amount is what is weighed by the police.

The raid was undertaken by the department’s Narcotics and Vice Investigation Division. The investigation followed a report made to the police. The Sweetwater Club is among several gambling halls being investigated for alleged illegal gambling in Corpus Christi over the past two years, Krisa local television station, reported.

The search prompted several comments on the department’s Facebook page.

A poster, identified as “Sj Rodriguez,” read: “We can all sleep better tonight knowing there’s one less arcade in the streets. »

Another poster, identified as Rebecca Ramirez, said: “Wow the majority of people in arcades are over 65. You like closing them will help to fight violence. who cares if they are open? no one is forcing you to put your money in the machine, it’s a choice. The only reason this is a big deal is because BINGO rooms complain that they don’t win the same amount of money. [sic]”

Previous crime in Texas

Earlier this month, a 22-year-old man was arrested for allegedly murdering a Dallas man. The shooting took place last month while the two were playing at a private home, according to a published report.

Dearius Bradley has been arrested on a warrant charging him with the death of Ronricko “Ron” Gray, 61, The Dallas Morning News reported. The murder took place at Gray’s residence in the far northeast neighborhood of Dallas.

The warrant charges him with capital murder. If found guilty, he could be executed or face a life sentence.

Texas has seen a debate over legalizing commercial gambling in the state. So far, opponents have blocked it from being approved. Some opponents say it will lead to increased crime and violence.

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