Dens of criminal activity raided

Dens of criminal activity raided

More than 60 officers from the Beaumont Police Department, the Port Arthur Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies were dispatched Wednesday, Oct. 29, to serve search and arrest warrants at five local gaming rooms and the home of the head of those establishments, who is alleged to have committed felony acts in connection to ongoing criminal enterprises.

The joint investigation that culminated in the recent raid pulled resources and manpower from the Beaumont Police Department SWAT Team, Special Assignment Unit and K9’s, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Beaumont Police Department Narcotics Unit, Port Arthur Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the Oct. 29 operation, two private residences were served with warrants, as were Shanghai Amusement Game Room, 4380 South Fourth; Happy Mood Amusement Game Room, 3229 Washington; Seashell Gift Shop, 3890 Highland Ave; Lala Gift Shop, 2949 College #215; all in Beaumont, and the Life of Luxury Gift Shop, 4948 Griffing Dr., in Port Arthur.

Roughly $150,000 in cash was confiscated from the operation, and included the forceful removal of an ATM machine.

“The cost of doing business for criminals just went up in Jefferson County,” Criminal District Attorney Cory Crenshaw stated following the arrests. “Many perceive game rooms and the illegal gambling they promote to be of little significance in the grand scheme of crime that we face. This is simply not the case. Often these game rooms are a breeding ground for various criminal activities, including narcotics, and violent crime such as aggravated robbery. The coordinated effort of law enforcement in this case to not just make arrests, but pursue the seizure of significant financial proceeds and develop cases for crimes with more severe penalties are steps in the right direction for raising the cost of doing business for criminals and making our community a safer place to live.”

By Jennifer Johnson and Sharon Brooks

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