Operation Bishop raids American Legion in Port Isabel

Cameron County District Attorney's Office

POSTED: Friday, October 11, 2013 - 12:25pm

UPDATED: Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 10:18am

Operation Bishop investigators raided The American Legion in Port Isabel Thursday afternoon seizing 27 gambling devices and $606 in currency.

The establishment, located at 819 S. Garcia St, was paying illegal amounts of cash to its patrons. The property owner for the building remains under investigation. No arrests were made.
“The American Legion had been warned numerous times and were provided an opportunity to previously close its illegal gambling operation,” District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said. “Yet, this establishment continued to operate it.

They were blatantly breaking the law.” The District Attorney’s Office has advertised in the newspaper, sent out notices, advised owners and patrons and conducted numerous media interviews about what is deemed illegal-gambling activity as pertains to eight-liner and
sweepstakes establishments.

According to state law and the Attorney General, eight-liner and sweepstakes businesses that give cash prizes of $5 or more, even if some or all proceeds benefit a non-profit/charity, are deemed an illegal-gambling operation. It is estimated that the eight-liner/sweepstakes industry generates at least $300 million annually.

Operation Bishop, the culmination of an 18-month criminal investigation of illegal gambling in Cameron County, began raids of illegally operated eight-liner and sweepstakes businesses in April.

Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz leads the Operation and credits the joint efforts of law enforcement and municipalities for its continued success. It is the first operation of its kind in terms of number of agencies working together to curtail what was known as a criminal epidemic in Cameron County.

Agencies and entities participating in Operation Bishop are: The Department of Homeland Security, FBI, DEA, Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, Cameron County Judge’s Office and Cameron County Emergency Management, Cameron County Sheriff’s Department, Cameron County Constable’s Office – Precinct 5, Brownsville PD, Port Isabel PD and San Benito PD.

To view images of the raid visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameroncountyda/sets/72157636431887706/

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