Constables bust two illegal gaming operations

By Kelci Johnston - News Producer
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HOUSTON - Just a week after a security guard was killed at a game room, Harris County Constables made several arrests after successfully raiding two other illegal gaming operations in north Houston.

"We're stepping up our efforts and our initiative to come after and go after these illegal game rooms," said Constable Alan Rosen, with Harris County Precinct One.

Both of the operations - located in the same shopping center on Airline Road - were raided around 11 p.m. Saturday.

"The neighbors have complained about them, businesses have complained about these illegal gaming operations, so we're doing something about it," Constable Rosen said.

According to Precinct One, the game rooms aren't only illegal themselves, but they're also breeding grounds for other criminal activity.

"We're continuing to see criminals target these locations because they know people [there] have money, and a lot of them stage people on the inside to show the winners, and then they follow the winners out and rob them at gunpoint," said Constable Rosen.

During Saturday's raids, Precinct One said several employees of the game rooms were arrested, including members of management.

Investigators also confiscated computer mother boards, the games, and tens of thousands of dollars.  Constable Rosen said that amount of cash in one place only contributes to the problem:

"There's a lot of money that goes in and out of these game rooms, which is exactly why it's a target for criminal behavior."

Both game rooms were owned by the same person, investigators said, so Precinct One is hoping the raids put the criminals out of business, at least for now.

"We intend to not just hit them [once], and shut them down, but we're actually going to try and go to the county attorney's office and have them do a temporary restraining order and shut them down permanently."

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