SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar is calling a gambling bust on the city’s South side a “resounding success.”
A team of investigators descended upon a home in the 300 block of E. Harding Avenue just after 6 a.m. Friday and began to dismantle what they say was an illegal gambling operation in its backyard.
Salazar said they seized as many as 100 eight-liner style gambling machines, two weapons and what may amount to tens of thousands of dollars in cash from a series of sheds that were serving as the gambling parlor.
“We’re still counting,” he said. “We know for a fact that at least one of the bags that we found, one bag, contained $15,000. "
He said there also was a safe and ATM inside the establishment which he believed contained even more money.
They had to call in San Antonio firefighters for help in breaking them open.
“They’ve got the Jaws of Life and they’ve got all manner of heavy duty tools and they helped us gain entry to those devices pretty easily,” Salazar said.
To gain entry to the property, itself, deputies brought in a SWAT team to break down a wooden fence.
Salazar says investigators had word that there may be an armed guard just behind the gates, but that turned out not to be the case.
Investigators arrested three men who they believe were connected to the gambling operation, as well as one woman who is accused of possessing methamphetamine.
Salazar said they did not find any connection between the illegal activity and the people who rent and live in the home.
“This place has been actually continuously operating for about ten years now. It’s pretty well-known in the area so thankfully we were able to get in and get it shut down,” Salazar said.
Still, he says he wonders how long-lasting the effects of this bust will be.
“Obviously these locations, sometimes it takes more than once for them to get the message,” Salazar said. “We’ll see where they go from here.”