More Arrests in Illegal Connecticut Gambling Operation
Police have arrested three more men in Connecticut who are suspected of being involved in an ongoing illegal gambling scheme.
To provide gambling services in a state within the US, there are certain requirements that an operator must meet. Licensing and approvals are a major part of legally offering gambling services. When one acts as an operator, be it a large casino, tavern, bar, etc., the state usually gets a cut of the profit. To avoid having to pay out and to make the most money, some people are willing to set up illegal gambling operations. An illegal outfit in Connecticut has been shut down over the past few months and even more arrests were made in the case this week. Bodegas were being used as hot spots for gambling until police learned of the activity.
Three men were arrested earlier this month in connection with the illegal gaming case involving bodegas. Sterling David Peralta Taveras, Guillermo Betances and Segundo Fabian were the latest to be taken in as part of the ongoing investigation by state police.
Each of the men face several charges including illegal professional gambling and illegal possession of gambling devices. The men actually turned themselves in to police regarding the matter and are being held on $100,000 bail.
The arrests are part of a long-term investigation by the Organized Crime Task Force. Several bodegas across the state have been searched are were found to be involved in the scheme. Over the past few weeks, the owners of four more bodegas were arrested on the same charges.
State police searched the bodega properties and confiscated several items connected to illegal gambling operations. This includes thousands in cash, gambling receipts and a laptop. It is also believed that one employee of a particular bodega was selling wagers on the Dominican Lottery out of the store.
Going Back a Little Further
If you go back to 2020, even more arrests were made involving illegal gambling activity in Connecticut bodegas. In November, two men were arrested on similar illegal gambling charges. Cesar Jose Vasquez and Nilo Antonio Espinal were bodega owners whose properties were searched and over $260,000 in cash was found on-site.
In Espinal’s property, several items were found that connected to illegal gambling including a safe with over $74,000 in cash, gambling notes and receipts of bets. Names and amounts of bets were also written down on a piece of paper.
Police say the paperwork reflects payouts from winning wagers. Espinal denied any such activity to police. He said that he did not know anything about illegal gambling or sports betting. Both are being considered by police as co-conspirators within a larger gambling organization.
Within Vaszuez’s bodega, police seized several items that could be used for illegal gambling including a printer for documentation, passports, and just over $192,000 in cash. Ledgers were also found that appeared to document loan sharing activity.
Police are still investigating bodegas and it is unclear as to when the investigation will end. Details have not been provided as to how police were tipped off regarding the activities. Did they have undercover agents inside? Were they tipped off by gamblers who wanted to stop the activity or perhaps neighbors who noticed something suspicious?
It is also unclear just how large the illegal operation really is. Does it span through multiple regions or just a few local towns? The arrests made were in Waterbury and Danbury, but more areas could be involved. It is still unknown how far the operation spans.
We expect more details to come out about the illegal gambling operations once police complete their investigation. With only details of the arrests provided, it could be that more raids and busts are planned for the future.