Police shut down Internet cafe for alleged gambling
by Glenn Moore
May 17, 2013 | 7442 views | 6 6 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Computers confiscated during a raid of Computer Crazy Internet Café, 1200 W. 11th St., are held in a Tracy Police Department truck Tuesday, May 14. The business opened in November and allegedly provided a front for online gambling.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Computers confiscated during a raid of Computer Crazy Internet Café, 1200 W. 11th St., are held in a Tracy Police Department truck Tuesday, May 14. The business opened in November and allegedly provided a front for online gambling. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Officers from several agencies served a search warrant and raided Computer Crazy Internet Café, 1200 W. 11th St., on Tuesday, May 14, for alleged illegal online gambling.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Officers from several agencies served a search warrant and raided Computer Crazy Internet Café, 1200 W. 11th St., on Tuesday, May 14, for alleged illegal online gambling. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
slideshow
Tracy police officers raided a central Tracy Internet café confiscating dozens of computers used in an alleged online gambling operation on Tuesday, May 14.

A multiagency force of state and federal investigators had a warrant to search Computer Crazy Internet Café, 1200 W. 11th St., following four months of investigation into alleged online gambling at the business in the West Gate Plaza shopping center.

Sgt. Alex Neicu of Tracy Police Department said the investigation began when the police department’s Special Investigations Unit was told by patrol officers of suspicious activity in the shopping center beginning in January.

Officers had received complaints from business owners in the shopping center about numerous narcotics violations, fights and drunken behavior associated with the Internet café.

Neicu said the investigation led to the business being identified as an illegal gambling operation posing as an Internet café.

The business, which opened Nov. 1, had customers put money on cards and play a “multitude of video gambling games” on the dozens of computers situated around the store.

If they won any of the games, they could cash out the card.

“As far as we could tell there was no legitimate, nongambling use of the business,” Neicu said.

The Internet café sold Internet time and phone cards, along with “promotional sweepstakes,” allowing customers to play gambling-themed games online to win cash prizes.

An additional search was conducted at the Antioch home of the business owner. Police would not release the name of the owners or the employee citing the ongoing investigation.

Neicu said officers seized about 50 computers at the business and another 50 at the Antioch home.

Officers also confiscated $65,000 from the business and Antioch home.

Documents detailing the gambling operations were also taken during the Tuesday search.

An employee of Computer Crazy was cited and released at the business during the raid.

The investigation had Tracy Police joined by California Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Employment Development District and the Department of Industrial Relations.

Neicu said Homeland Security was called in to trace the finances of the online gambling operation.

Neicu said the raid on the alleged Internet gambling site was the first in Tracy but follows a statewide trend.

He said similar businesses have been discovered in Manteca, Stockton, Lodi and Modesto.

“It’s a new trend throughout the state,” he said. “It’s important for us to be proactive about this.”

The different agencies’ officers were still looking through the business at 1 p.m. Tuesday as customers in the shopping center stopped by the front door of the business.

The investigation into the gambling operation is continuing, Neicu said, and investigators will forward the results to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office for possible charges that could involved illegal slot machines or devices and slot or card machines or mechanical devices at which money or other valuables are staked or hazarded.

Neicu said the business, as a gambling operation, had been shut down.

• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or gmoore@tracypress.com.
Comments
(6)
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princesaportuguese
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May 20, 2013
No one is to be deprived of life, liberty or PROPERTY without due process of the law.
DTB1445
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May 20, 2013
Uh, princeaprotuguese.... did you see the words "warrant"? A warrant is due process allowing the seizure of evidence. Why you'd even begin to defend this blight on the city is beyond me. Be glad it was shut down before it drew even more bad element into our city. Thank the police for being so proactive on this criminal behavior. Be glad your police professionals are out there looking out for us all.
ChrisRoberts
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May 17, 2013
Awww it's just a little gambling fun.

How many people go Jackson, Cash Creek, South Lake Tahoe to gamble?

Narcotics, fights, drunken behavior? Sounds more like the local high schools or the skatepark. I have never seen any of that behavior at this business establishment.
newtotracy
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May 17, 2013
so if this business got shut down for internet gambling...then how is it that the scourge of the card house next to the Shamrock exists? The clientele of both places is quite detrimental to the local neighborhoods...and the fact that there is a gambling hall right next to downtown is not exactly a plus for Tracy's downtown growth (especially since it's not even nice looking!).

seems that if gambling is not allowed...then ALL gambling should not be allowed...unless the card house is atop an ancient Indian burial ground and therefore legal or something.
DTB1445
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May 17, 2013
Great Job Tracy PD !! We don't need that type of predatory business in our town. Keep up the good work !!
princesaportuguese
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May 20, 2013
It said alleged so why are you not defending their innocence until proven guilty?


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