Investigators uncover ‘most extensive gambling operation’ seen in decades, sheriff says

BCSO found illegal gambling machines, cash, drugs, and a teenage girl

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an illegal operation on the North Side that uncovered hundreds of illegal gambling machines, narcotics, cash and a teen who could be a human trafficking victim, according to Sheriff Javier Salazar.

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an illegal operation on the North Side that uncovered hundreds of illegal gambling machines, narcotics, cash and a teen who could be a human trafficking victim, according to Sheriff Javier Salazar.

The investigation into a building in the 3700 block of Blanco Road has been ongoing for about a week, Salazar said.

Investigators uncover ‘most extensive gambling operation’ seen in decades, sheriff says (BCSO)

Members of the BCSO SWAT team, Gang Unit and Organized Crime Unit searched the property and found more than 100 machines used for illegal gambling, the sheriff said. They also uncovered narcotics, hundreds of out-of-operation illegal gambling machines, 8 to 10 weapons and a 16-year-old girl who may be a victim of human trafficking.

“This is the most extensive gambling operation any of us have seen in decades,” Salazar said.

He said deputies are asking the girl questions to determine if she was part of a human trafficking operation that was going on within the building.

Salazar said investigators would be opening up all the machines, which may take some time.

Investigators uncover ‘most extensive gambling operation’ seen in decades, sheriff says (BCSO)

Deputies detained a dozen people, who they found hidden in rooms throughout the building, Salazar said. It’s unclear what charges they will face, if any.

Salazar said BCSO would be investigating for the better part of the night on Wednesday and that it would take time to go through the 20,000- to 25,000-square-foot building.


About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes breaking news, COVID-19 coverage, personal finance stories on the "Money: It's Personal" series, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" series.