Daily Archives: June 3, 2019

A Brief Look at Crime 05/27 – 06/02

Va. man gets 10 years for dogfighting, animal cruelty; 26 dogs seized from his property

A Dinwiddie County man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for dogfighting and animal cruelty. The Virginia Attorney General’s Office announced Eldridge Freeman, Jr., 44, was sentenced after he was convicted of 37 counts of animal cruelty and dogfighting involving 26 dogs back in December. Freeman is also banned from every owning a pet again. According to evidence at his hearing, Freeman participated in dogfighting at a home on Wilson Road in Dinwiddie County. Investigators found at 14x14x2 fighting pit outfitted with carpet, a tarp for a cover, and what appeared to be blood stains and smears on the inside. Dogfighting paraphernalia, heavily scarred dogs, wound dressings, and others items associated with dog breeding and dogfighting were also found on the property. Prosecutors also said Freeman kept the dogs in plastic barrels, water tanks, or plywood whelping boxes, all of which were not insulated and did not have bedding. Illegal animal fighting is closely tied to illegal gambling, drug and alcohol crimes, and violence against animals has been shown to be linked to violence towards other people.

Payson Man Sentenced For Mazatzal Casino Robbery

A Payson man, Armando Pablo Ochoa, 32, of Payson, was sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. According to the FBI, the 32-year-old Ochoa and 31-year-old or Ryan Pearson, were employees at the Mazatzal Casino when they entered the casino armed with handguns and demanded that employees open a vault. When they did not receive immediate compliance, Ochoa and Pearson each fired a round from their weapons. The incident happened at the Mazatzal Casino, located along Highway 87 in the southern area of Payson, on July 17. Ochoa admitted to using a weapon, along with co-defendant, Ryan Pearson, to rob $652,000 in cash from the casino. Pearson pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and is scheduled for sentencing on April 15, 2019.

Illegal gambling operations busted in West Phoenix 

Two businesses in west Phoenix have been cracked down for conducting illegal gambling operations. The Arizona Department of Gaming led a combined operation to execute warrants related to illegal gambling operations. Police officers from Phoenix and Glendale and ADG agents conducted the searches at Lan Anh Billiards, 2635 W. Bethany Home Road and Thanh Long Billiards, near 35th Avenue and Indian School Road. The ADG said its agents seized close to $1 million in cash, several illegal gambling devices (seven Dragon games) and other assets. The case will be sent to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for prosecution. The unnamed suspects could face charges up to a class 5 felony for conducting a criminal enterprise and other miscellaneous charges. “I wish to thank our agents, as well as our partners in the Phoenix and Glendale police departments for their hard work,” Ted Vogt, director of the ADG, stated in a release. “The Arizona Department of Gaming takes its duty to enforce the gambling laws in our state seriously. Our agents are steadfast in thoroughly investigating all suspected illegal gambling activities to protect the public and ensure compliance with the law.”

Scottish National Party: Damage Gambling Firms Damage to Gamblers Cause “Tantamount to Gross Negligence” 

Ronnie Cowan, MP for Inverclyde and vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on fixed odds betting terminals, wrote his article in Politics Home ahead of his debate today on gambling-related harm at Westminister Hall. Talking about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, Cowan stated that people know the harm these things can cause; however, when it becomes a matter of gambling the harm involved isn’t always so obvious. He wrote: “Debt incurred from gambling creates instability, insecurity and can lead to bankruptcy and in the extreme, result in criminal activities. Relationships can be disrupted and often lead to emotional and social isolation. This can lead to mistrust and erodes cohesive relationships.” Additionally, he noted that suicide can play a role in gambling-related stress. Citing figures from Gambling with Lives, Cowan said that between 4% and 11% of suicides are linked to gambling. This is the equivalent of around 250-620 deaths each year in the UK. He added: “To make it perfectly blunt, the gambling companies have stacked the odds against the punters and the damage that is being done needs to be redressed.”

New Jersey Gambling Regulator Fines for Self-Exclusion and Geolocation Failures

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has slapped a hefty fine on GVC Holdings and its Atlantic City land-based casino partner Borgata Hotel Casino for self-exclusion failures. Bwin.party is facing the consequences of its *failure to prevent self-excluded players* from gambling online. As a result, 12 gamblers, who had previously opted to self-exclude from wagering, lost the amount of *$41,759.49*. In a separate civiл order, the Borgata was ordered to forfeit the exact amount of gambling money lost by the 12 self-excluded individuals once it receives an invoice from the Division.

The Borgata has recently received another slap on the wrist by the New Jersey gambling regulator, that one for *failing to prevent a gambler based in California* from accessing its online gaming offering. In an order from earlier this year, the Division ordered the Borgata and Caesars Interactive, the online gambling division of Caesars Entertainment Corp., to *forfeit more than $90,000*. The money was found in the online gambling accounts of Vinh Dao, a California resident who found a way around the geolocation technology used by New Jersey’s casinos to prevent out-of-state gambling.

Woman accused of stealing $60,000 from casino card player (FL)

A card player woke up late and groggy in his Hollywood hotel room and discovered about $60,000 was gone from the pockets of his jeans. Police say the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino guest met a woman at the blackjack tables and she accompanied him to his room. The woman was wearing a short, olive-colored dress that zipped up the back and had a colorful tattoo on her left forearm. Before they began the massage that she offered, the woman suggested the man take a sip of his drink. That was all the man remembered from the 2:30 a.m. encounter on March 26, 2017. He told police he believed he was drugged because he woke up that day at noon, and he never sleeps late, an arrest report said. The man’s gray Hard Rock Cafe sweatshirt also was missing, and hotel surveillance video showed a woman wearing it as she left his room, an arrest report said. On Monday, Seminole Police said Las Vegas police picked up Villalobos on an arrest warrant.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION