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Beauty Salon Allegedly Doubled As Underground Gambling Den

Suspect Tries To Flee By Hiding In Ceiling

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The sign for Diana’s Beauty Salon in Pomona, California, didn’t quite reveal the reality of what was going on inside. While the sign promoted hair extensions and other services, police allege that the property really housed an underground casino.

Police raided the property as well as one other location in the city last week, arresting several people in the process in partnership with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations.

Some locals suspected something illegal was going on at the former hair salon.

“It was always those people that you could tell they don’t have good intentions and always sneaky text and they would do it in front of the door and the same person would open all the time,” Yathana Martinez, who works in the area, told KNBC. “It was very suspicious.”

Arrests Made

News outlets reported that the beauty salon actually closed months ago, and that the underground casino operators may have left the sign up as a disguise for what was really going on.

“You would never expect it. It used to be an actual hair extension place,” Martinez said. “Now when you see they still have that as a cover-up with suspicious activity it’s very worrying.”

Police were seen entering the property with ladders and tools during the raid, according to onlookers. One witness told KNBC that one suspect attempted to crawl through the ceiling in an attempt to escape.

Law enforcement across the country have been dealing with the growth of underground gambling operations over the last few years. In January, officers in San Jose, California, raided an underground casino that also included a brothel. Five suspects were arrested and police also seized 33 firearms, 150,000 rounds of ammunition, 500 pounds of marijuana, and $20,000 in cash.

Law enforcement groups report that many of the operations are often run by organized crime. Some in Los Angeles are said 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. “You don’t know that it’s there until you know that it’s there.”

Pomona is located about 30 miles west of card rooms such as the Parkwest Bicycle Casino and Commerce Casino.