Law enforcement officers raided a Tracy internet cafe on Tuesday, May 14, after a four-month, group effort by the Tracy Police Department, the California Department of Justice, the Department of Industrial Relations, the Department of Homeland Security and the Employment Development Department. Investigators say Computer Crazy Internet Cafe was an online gambling operation and a nuisance to the neighborhood.
"Our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members who are investigating these operations up and down the state, often go undercover at these establishments to observe, firsthand, the illegal gambling and the other crimes that are often associated with these places," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona.
City, state and federal investigators had a warrant to search Computer Crazy Internet Cafe in Tracy and the business owner's home in Antioch. They seized 100 computers, 50 from each location. They also seized $65,000 and documents detailing the gambling operation.
The investigation began when neighboring business owners told police about drinking, drugs and fights surrounding the internet cafe. Police said cafe customers would put money on cards to play video gambling games.
Two other gambling facilities in Woodland were raided by police and Department of Justice agents on Thursday, May 16. Officers and agents seized computers and money at an operation on Main Street and one on East Street. They arrested one patron for possession of a controlled substance. No other arrests were made.
Similar police raids have taken place at numerous internet cafes in California as law enforcement cracks down on this latest trend in illegal activity.