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Police have made a sixth arrest connected with the raid on July 11 of two businesses operating as Internet cafes.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, 45-year-old Bert French was arrested Wednesday on multiple charges of keeping a gambling house, conducting a lottery for money and owning a slot machine.

Two Internet cafes were raided and five people arrested Friday in what Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said was an investigation into illegal gambling.

Storefronts operating under the name "Senior Social Centers" on Normandy and Blanding boulevards were raided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in a joint operation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney's Office.

Rutherford said these businesses were offering slot machine and other gambling play on computer terminals.

"It is clear these businesses were offering casino-style games of chance," Rutherford said at the time.

Undercover officers said they had documented the gambling by using the online games. He said they won up to $136, but more often lost money using the terminals.

The day of the raids, five employees of the two businesses were arrested on charges of possession of a gambling device and keeping a gambling house. Shonderika Lowery, Gynarva Monroe, Antonio Hodges, Joyce McCaffrey and Felicia Maxwell were all arrested and booked into the Duval County jail Friday afternoon.  

JSO booking photos of (from left) Felicia Maxwell, Joyce McCaffrey, Gynarva Monroe, Shonderika Lowery and Antonio Hodges

Patrons at businesses when they were raided were questioned and released without facing any charges.

Those two locations had been raided in April operating as locations of "Pete's Retreat," but no arrests were made in that investigation.  They had reopened under the new names.

In a statewide crackdown on the Internet gaming centers last year, 49 Allied Veterans of the World locations were closed and 57 people were arrested on racketeering, gambling and money laundering charges. A Jacksonville lawyer -- Kelly Mathis -- who prosecutors called the mastermind of the scheme, was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.

The sheriff said he wants to be clear to those who keep reopening these businesses that he will not tolerate illegal gambling in Jacksonville.

"If you're given payouts through these machines, you can pretty much guarantee they're illegal," Rutherford said. "That's the message. If you're out there running them, we may be in your place doing an undercover operation today."

The sheriff is also warning landlords of these facilities, to be aware that they could also face prosecution for housing the internet cafes as tenants.

"For those owners who wish support and invest in these illegal gambling practices, I can assure you that you are throwing away your valued resources in the trash. Those who have continued in the past we often seize exemplars in these operations and we are now seizing every piece of electronics in the business used to commit the crime," said Rutherford.  

A Central Valley congressional campaign is demanding an apology after they say the other side crossed the line.

Article source: http://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/people-turning-to-online-gambling-after-internet-cafes-close

ONSLOW COUNTY -

Deputies have arrested two men accused or robbing an internet cafe in Onslow County last month.

According to the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, 21-year-old Deontre Ulysses Randall, of New Bern, and 18-year-old Kyle Quinton Boone, of Jacksonville, were arrested on Aug. 20 on Gum Branch Road between Jacksonville and Richlands.

The two are accused of robbing the Lucky Time Internet Cafe on U.S. 258 Richlands Highway on July 21. Deputies said the two suspects had a handgun.

At least one employee was inside at the time, but no one was hurt, said Sheriff Ed Brown.

There was no word on how much money was taken.

Randall and Boone are both charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony larceny, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. They were being held under a $415,000 bond and a $335,000 bond, respectively.

The Sheriff's Office said drug charges are also expected because investigators found marijuana at a residence on Cabinwood Court. Randall and Boone were reportedly at the home, said investigators.

ONSLOW COUNTY -

Deputies have arrested two men accused or robbing an internet cafe in Onslow County last month.

According to the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, 21-year-old Deontre Ulysses Randall, of New Bern, and 18-year-old Kyle Quinton Boone, of Jacksonville, were arrested on Aug. 20 on Gum Branch Road between Jacksonville and Richlands.

The two are accused of robbing the Lucky Time Internet Cafe on U.S. 258 Richlands Highway on July 21. Deputies said the two suspects had a handgun.

At least one employee was inside at the time, but no one was hurt, said Sheriff Ed Brown.

There was no word on how much money was taken.

Randall and Boone are both charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony larceny, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. They were being held under a $415,000 bond and a $335,000 bond, respectively.

The Sheriff's Office said drug charges are also expected because investigators found marijuana at a residence on Cabinwood Court. Randall and Boone were reportedly at the home, said investigators.

Police have made a sixth arrest connected with the raid on July 11 of two businesses operating as Internet cafes.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, 45-year-old Bert French was arrested Wednesday on multiple charges of keeping a gambling house, conducting a lottery for money and owning a slot machine.

Two Internet cafes were raided and five people arrested Friday in what Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said was an investigation into illegal gambling.

Storefronts operating under the name "Senior Social Centers" on Normandy and Blanding boulevards were raided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in a joint operation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney's Office.

Rutherford said these businesses were offering slot machine and other gambling play on computer terminals.

"It is clear these businesses were offering casino-style games of chance," Rutherford said at the time.

Undercover officers said they had documented the gambling by using the online games. He said they won up to $136, but more often lost money using the terminals.

The day of the raids, five employees of the two businesses were arrested on charges of possession of a gambling device and keeping a gambling house. Shonderika Lowery, Gynarva Monroe, Antonio Hodges, Joyce McCaffrey and Felicia Maxwell were all arrested and booked into the Duval County jail Friday afternoon.  

JSO booking photos of (from left) Felicia Maxwell, Joyce McCaffrey, Gynarva Monroe, Shonderika Lowery and Antonio Hodges

Patrons at businesses when they were raided were questioned and released without facing any charges.

Those two locations had been raided in April operating as locations of "Pete's Retreat," but no arrests were made in that investigation.  They had reopened under the new names.

In a statewide crackdown on the Internet gaming centers last year, 49 Allied Veterans of the World locations were closed and 57 people were arrested on racketeering, gambling and money laundering charges. A Jacksonville lawyer -- Kelly Mathis -- who prosecutors called the mastermind of the scheme, was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.

The sheriff said he wants to be clear to those who keep reopening these businesses that he will not tolerate illegal gambling in Jacksonville.

"If you're given payouts through these machines, you can pretty much guarantee they're illegal," Rutherford said. "That's the message. If you're out there running them, we may be in your place doing an undercover operation today."

The sheriff is also warning landlords of these facilities, to be aware that they could also face prosecution for housing the internet cafes as tenants.

"For those owners who wish support and invest in these illegal gambling practices, I can assure you that you are throwing away your valued resources in the trash. Those who have continued in the past we often seize exemplars in these operations and we are now seizing every piece of electronics in the business used to commit the crime," said Rutherford.  

Authorities in South California swooped down on two internet cafes and closed down the businesses on grounds of illegal online gambling. Two people were arrested and over 70 computers were seized. Both businesses are located in Corvina, San Gabriel Valley and the police busts took place within a short space of one another.

Editor Note: If you live in Nevada, New Jersey or Deleware you can now play for real money at www.wsop.com. For out of state residents, we recommend www.Betonline.ag.

Using a search warrant, the police entered Quick Connect internet cafe this week and arrested the store manager, Sheryl Duston on suspicion of possessing slot devices. The police say that the store’s claim that it sold computer and cellphone accessories as a main line of business was actually a front for illegal online gambling operations.  36 computer sets and other equipment were removed from the location.

An article by NBC revealed how Quick Connect worked as an online gambling business.  Customers paid up front at the desk, with cash transferred into points and a pin number.  Players then entered their pin number into one of the computers and were able to redeem points for cash when they were finished gambling.

The other premises raided were of Tel Expo internet cafe on North Azusa Avenue, which also claimed to sell accessories for phones and other paraphernalia.  The modus operandi of this business was slightly different, according to police.  Customers would purchase a pre-paid ‘phone card’ with a pin number, which would then be entered into the computer and allow customers access to slot machines and poker type games.

In the cases of Tel Expo, as well, the owner, 21 year old Henry Hakopian was arrested by police and nearly 40 computer devices were confiscated from the premises.

In recent years, the California Bureau of Gaming Control issued an Advisory that state law prohibits “so-called ‘Internet café’s’ that sell Internet time or phone cards in conjunction with a ‘promotional sweepstakes.’”

 

Article source: http://www.compatiblepoker.com/poker-rumors/police-bust-internet-cafes-in-south-california/9192

Police have made a sixth arrest connected with the raid on July 11 of two businesses operating as Internet cafes.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, 45-year-old Bert French was arrested Wednesday on multiple charges of keeping a gambling house, conducting a lottery for money and owning a slot machine.

Two Internet cafes were raided and five people arrested Friday in what Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said was an investigation into illegal gambling.

Storefronts operating under the name "Senior Social Centers" on Normandy and Blanding boulevards were raided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in a joint operation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney's Office.

Rutherford said these businesses were offering slot machine and other gambling play on computer terminals.

"It is clear these businesses were offering casino-style games of chance," Rutherford said at the time.

Undercover officers said they had documented the gambling by using the online games. He said they won up to $136, but more often lost money using the terminals.

The day of the raids, five employees of the two businesses were arrested on charges of possession of a gambling device and keeping a gambling house. Shonderika Lowery, Gynarva Monroe, Antonio Hodges, Joyce McCaffrey and Felicia Maxwell were all arrested and booked into the Duval County jail Friday afternoon.  

JSO booking photos of (from left) Felicia Maxwell, Joyce McCaffrey, Gynarva Monroe, Shonderika Lowery and Antonio Hodges

Patrons at businesses when they were raided were questioned and released without facing any charges.

Those two locations had been raided in April operating as locations of "Pete's Retreat," but no arrests were made in that investigation.  They had reopened under the new names.

In a statewide crackdown on the Internet gaming centers last year, 49 Allied Veterans of the World locations were closed and 57 people were arrested on racketeering, gambling and money laundering charges. A Jacksonville lawyer -- Kelly Mathis -- who prosecutors called the mastermind of the scheme, was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.

The sheriff said he wants to be clear to those who keep reopening these businesses that he will not tolerate illegal gambling in Jacksonville.

"If you're given payouts through these machines, you can pretty much guarantee they're illegal," Rutherford said. "That's the message. If you're out there running them, we may be in your place doing an undercover operation today."

The sheriff is also warning landlords of these facilities, to be aware that they could also face prosecution for housing the internet cafes as tenants.

"For those owners who wish support and invest in these illegal gambling practices, I can assure you that you are throwing away your valued resources in the trash. Those who have continued in the past we often seize exemplars in these operations and we are now seizing every piece of electronics in the business used to commit the crime," said Rutherford.  

Police have made a sixth arrest connected with the raid on July 11 of two businesses operating as Internet cafes.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, 45-year-old Bert French was arrested Wednesday on multiple charges of keeping a gambling house, conducting a lottery for money and owning a slot machine.

Two Internet cafes were raided and five people arrested Friday in what Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said was an investigation into illegal gambling.

Storefronts operating under the name "Senior Social Centers" on Normandy and Blanding boulevards were raided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in a joint operation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney's Office.

Rutherford said these businesses were offering slot machine and other gambling play on computer terminals.

"It is clear these businesses were offering casino-style games of chance," Rutherford said at the time.

Undercover officers said they had documented the gambling by using the online games. He said they won up to $136, but more often lost money using the terminals.

The day of the raids, five employees of the two businesses were arrested on charges of possession of a gambling device and keeping a gambling house. Shonderika Lowery, Gynarva Monroe, Antonio Hodges, Joyce McCaffrey and Felicia Maxwell were all arrested and booked into the Duval County jail Friday afternoon.  

JSO booking photos of (from left) Felicia Maxwell, Joyce McCaffrey, Gynarva Monroe, Shonderika Lowery and Antonio Hodges

Patrons at businesses when they were raided were questioned and released without facing any charges.

Those two locations had been raided in April operating as locations of "Pete's Retreat," but no arrests were made in that investigation.  They had reopened under the new names.

In a statewide crackdown on the Internet gaming centers last year, 49 Allied Veterans of the World locations were closed and 57 people were arrested on racketeering, gambling and money laundering charges. A Jacksonville lawyer -- Kelly Mathis -- who prosecutors called the mastermind of the scheme, was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.

The sheriff said he wants to be clear to those who keep reopening these businesses that he will not tolerate illegal gambling in Jacksonville.

"If you're given payouts through these machines, you can pretty much guarantee they're illegal," Rutherford said. "That's the message. If you're out there running them, we may be in your place doing an undercover operation today."

The sheriff is also warning landlords of these facilities, to be aware that they could also face prosecution for housing the internet cafes as tenants.

"For those owners who wish support and invest in these illegal gambling practices, I can assure you that you are throwing away your valued resources in the trash. Those who have continued in the past we often seize exemplars in these operations and we are now seizing every piece of electronics in the business used to commit the crime," said Rutherford.  

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

For the past two years, News4Jax has told viewers stories of Internet cafes around town that have been shut down when the state says they're illegal, then reopened with new games. Each time the owners told News4Jax the new games are legal, and then police seem to go shut them down again.

The latest raids were this past Friday when two west side Internet cafes were shut down.

News4Jax is looking at the legal aspect of this to find out why the owners continually say they're legal and then wind up arrested.

Each time the Internet cafes re-opened, the owners said they had changed the technology of the games and took away the possibility of chance, meaning it's not gambling and it's legal.

But after another round of arrests and with more likely coming around Jacksonville, the state of Florida told News4Jax there's a group of lawyers in Jacksonville giving the Internet cafe operators bad advice and it's costing them jail time.

The latest arrests were in two raids on Normandy and Blanding boulevards Friday. Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said there are more undercover operations going on right now to shut these places down.

News4Jax asked why the facilities keep getting shut down, then re-opening, then shut down again by police. Both sides said they're on the right side of the law.

"It seems like we continually have attorney or attorneys. That seems to be continuing, to be willing to say this is legal and put their necks out saying this is legal," said the Attorney General's Office.

Local attorney Gene Nichols is familiar with many of these cases, particularly the highest profile case where local attorney Kelly Mathis was convicted for an Internet cafe scam with Allied Veterans.

"I would be shocked to know there's a lawyer out there who's telling someone specifically and putting it in paper that what you are doing is legal," said Nichols. "What I would suspect is lawyers are advising clients, especially because of Kelly Mathis, this may be legal, this may not be legal. Here's what the law says, here's what I think."

Nichols said the problem is the law the legislature passed last year banning Internet cafes and calling them illegal gambling can only be worded so well. Since the manufacturers of these gaming machines can change the software just a bit to get around the wording of the law, these places keep opening.

But law enforcement has zero tolerance for them. So what this means is a jury will have to determine if the operators of these cafes are in fact breaking the law.

"It is absolutely feasible they could win in court because it just depends on what they are now doing. The changes in technology -- does that violate Florida statute? The law that -- does have some loopholes," said Nichols.

Nichols said he suspects during the next legislative session they will tweak the law to close some of these loopholes. The issue will be there is some legal gambling in Florida on Indian reservations and places like the dog track. So the wording of the law is tricky because it can't be too overly broad or it could affect those operations.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger described them as gambling halls disguised as Internet cafes that benefitted disadvantaged military veterans.

More than 50 people were arrested. One was Chase Burns, the 38-year-old Oklahoma man who came up with the computer software used in the storefronts that transformed personal computers into virtual slot machines.

He pleaded no contest to two counts of helping set up an illegal lottery in February and was placed on one year of probation.

The Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach ruled Friday that all of his seized property, including a yacht and cattle company, had to be returned.

That's estimated at tens of millions of dollars.

The court agreed with Burns and his lawyer, Robert Leventhal of Orlando, that because none of the property was in Florida, it was not covered by the state's forfeiture laws.

Several months ago, Bondi's office and Burns agreed to a settlement that would have allowed Florida and the Sheriff's Office to keep a combined $7 million, but the Sheriff's Office did not sign off on it, according to court records.

In Friday's ruling, the appeals court ordered both agencies to return to Burns all of the seized money and property. It also ordered them to pay Burns' legal bills.

Bondi's office had no response, except to say it was studying the ruling.

The Sheriff's Office said it would not say why it had rejected the settlement until next week nor provide details on how much money was at stake.

rstutzman@tribune.com or 407-650-6394407-650-6394

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Article source: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2014-08-01/news/os-allied-veterans-internet-cafe-money-20140801_1_allied-veterans-internet-cafes-chase-burns