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Illegal gambling network raided by San Jose police

Network of underground gambling dens raided by San Jose police
Network of underground gambling dens raided by San Jose police 02:35

SAN JOSE - San Jose Police say officers raided a network of illegal, underground gambling operations hiding, detectives say, in plain sight scattered in residential neighborhoods throughout the city.

"They generate a lot of quality of life issues. But also behind the scenes, they create a lot of criminality associated not only with the casinos but firearms, drug consumption, drug possession," said San Jose Police Spokesperson Officer Steven Aponte.

Officer Aponte said police recovered dozens of gambling machines, nearly $300-thousand in cash, 11 guns and cocaine, meth and other drugs during the raid.

"Twenty-four hours a day -- going in and out of the house. It wasn't just a certain time of the day; it was all day long," said a neighbor who asked not to be identified at one of the raid locations in East San Jose.

Neighbors said they had long noticed that something seemed wrong at the houses that were the subject of the police investigation and raid. Their first clue was the unusually high number of people visiting the homes throughout the day.

"It's damaging the property values and you're not safe," said Jeri Hipol who lives near one of the alleged underground casinos.

Hipol said she has lived at her house for nearly 30 years and was concerned about the nonstop cars in and out of the neighborhood. Last week, she says she was about to run some errands when she noticed the police outside her neighbor's house.

"I saw a couple - a man and a woman -- handcuffed over there," she said.

Detectives say the different locations were coordinated and interconnected. Police say 43-year-old Chuong Ho was the alleged mastermind behind the entire operation.

Neighbors say they're enjoying the respite from all the cars and keeping a close eye to make sure operations don't return.

"For now, it's quiet," Jeri said.

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