Operation Bishop raids eight-liner establishments in Harlingen and San Benito
POSTED: Friday, March 14, 2014 - 9:47am
UPDATED: Friday, March 14, 2014 - 11:03am
BROWNSVILLE, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — Operation Bishop agents shut down a Harlingen gas station and a San Benito establishment Thursday night after an investigation found illegal gambling taking place at the premises.
The Harlingen gas station, Valero/Lone Star Food Store at 14755 W. Expressway 83, had four eight-liners with management paying out cash prizes. The San Benito establishment, The Prize Barn at 32360 FM 2520, had 56 eightliners with management paying out cash and items valued more than $5. At present, no arrests have been made, but the establishments remain under investigation.
The Prize Barn had 32 patrons operating the machines. Of additional concern was the locked rear exit door that prevented patrons from leaving in the event of an emergency.
“After almost a year since we launched Operation Bishop, everyone has to know that our Office has been shutting down illegal-gambling businesses,” District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said. “It is surprising to see people blatantly break the law even after the Operation’s continued enforcement.”
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.
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.
Agencies participating in the raid were: Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, Cameron County Office of Emergency Management, Cameron County Constable’s Office Precinct 5, Harlingen PD and San Benito PD.
Operation Bishop Prize Barn Raid 3.13.14
Operation Bishop Valero/Lone Star Food Store Raid 3.3.14