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"Like a big carnival": 2 charged in Milford backyard volleyball gambling ring

"Like a big carnival": 2 charged in Milford backyard volleyball gambling ring
"Like a big carnival": 2 charged in Milford backyard volleyball gambling ring 02:50

MILFORD – Two people are facing charges after police said they ran a largescale illegal gambling ring centered around backyard volleyball matches at a Milford home.

"It's gone from something wholesome to a pure criminal element that's come in. People are profiting to the point in my estimation in excess of almost a million dollars a year," said Milford Deputy Police Chief, Robert Tusino. "We're at the point where we just want it to stop." 

Luis Loja-Caguana is charged with keeper of a disorderly home, gaming or betting, and place for registering bets. Zoila Castro is facing a charge of selling liquor.

Police said Loja-Caguana paved over his entire backyard and turned it into two full-size volleyball courts.

Police say a backyard gambling ring was centered around volleyball matches in Milford. Milford police

He allegedly collected and placed bets during matches.

Milford police said the prize money would be in the thousands of dollars. According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, police seized about $10,000 in cash during the arrests.

Neighbors who say they are dealing with lights, noise and cars are hoping for some peace.

"It's just loud, beer bottles, yelling and screaming and kids there at night. It's like a big carnival," a neighbor who did not want to be identified said. "They take up parking, we can't get out of our driveways, can't see oncoming cars. People park in front of our houses and we have to find other places to park."  

Castro allegedly ran a full-size concession stand, selling alcohol illegally and without permits.

"You have blatant misuse of property, so it's our job as elected and appointed officials to make the quality of life in our neighborhoods is protected," said Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Paul Mazzuchelli.    

Charges are pending for other people whose names have not yet been released.

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