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While raiding an illegal internet gambling operation on Monday afternoon, one door away from a downtown Stockton charter school, Vice cops apprehended one and seized 13 computers at the sparse site on the first floor of 634 E. Main St., separated by one small building from Team Charter Academy at 600 E. Main.

In association, the lead vice detective disclosed: “We received numerous complaints about this location. The owner of this establishment has been arrested four times” on similar charges,  requesting that his identity be concealed because he often works surreptitiously. Typically patrons who are often poor often purchase a $2 cash card from the establishment that allows them to put money on the card, usually $20 at a time. The patrons then connect via the computer to internet gambling sites that are illegal in California. Most of them play slot-type games that operate just like an electronic slot machine.”

According to the vice official: Erica Herechski, the woman operating the Main Street location, aged 36 or 37, was previously detained at illegal gambling businesses at 1107 E. Harding Way and at the former Payless Shoes on North Wilson Way. However, the majority  of the charges against her have been misdemeanours, she has been convicted of at least one felony drug charge and was imprisoned. During Monday’s bust, Herechski was charged with suspicion of operating an illegal gambling establishment and possession of methamphetamine, both misdemeanours.

“She moves from one establishment to another. At this location, we served a search warrant and are in the process of seizing all of the computers used for internet gambling,” he said. “It takes a couple of months to get probable cause.”

According to the officer, “the suspect tried to say what she was doing wasn’t illegal. It’s just like Monopoly at McDonald’s.” But the officer disputed that noting state law is clear on games of chance.

“These places just bring an element of prostitution, drugs and blight,” the officer said, and sometimes they attract more serious crimes including armed robberies and shootings.”


Source: European Gaming Media and Events