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Underground Casino And Brothel Busted In San Jose

Illegal Gambling Houses Face Added Attention From Law Enforcement


Underground casinos continue to be a major challenge for law enforcement in numerous states across the country. One of the latest raids by police came Friday in San Jose, California, at an alleged illegal gambling venue that also included a brothel with an on-site drug dealer.

Authorities said the enterprise operated in a commercial building located in the northern part of the city and officers arrested five suspects.

“During the search, officers located and seized 33 firearms (including assault weapons), 150,000 rounds of ammunition, 500 pounds of marijuana, and approximately $20,000 in cash,” the San Jose Police Department noted in a news release.

Arrests Made, Women Offered Help

As part of the raid, the department noted that several women employed at the facility were also provided help as part of the law enforcement action. The department didn’t note that human trafficking was involved with the case, but noted that “adult female survivors employed at the brothel were also located and provided resources, assistance, and information about their rights.”

The five suspects included Saolepea Liu, Nido Nguyen, Phuong Nguyen, Windie Pratt, and Anai Garcia. The suspects were booked into the Santa Clara County jail for and face multiple felony charges, according to police.

Law enforcement across the country have cracked down on illegal casinos in recent months, including busts in Florida, California, Ohio, Michigan, and other states.

In October, Bexar County sheriff’s deputies in San Antonio, Texas, raided an illegal casino for the second time since 2021 as part of an undercover sting operation. Agents seized $20,000 and arrested four men.

In California, authorities have said that underground casinos are also a growing problem. Officers note that these gambling houses are often run by larger criminal organizations. For example, some of the illegal gambling rooms located around Los Angeles are believed to be run by members of the Mexican mafia.

“It’s hidden in plain sight,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s detective Richard Velasquez recently told the Los Angeles Times of that city’s gambling house operated by organized crime. “You don’t know that it’s there until you know that it’s there.”