Police detain 64, arrest 11, in raid on suspected illegal gambling business in North Long Beach

SWAT officers and vice detectives swarmed a business in North Long Beach before dawn Tuesday as part of a crackdown on illegal gambling in the city, according to authorities.

Police served a warrant at the business on Long Beach Boulevard just south of the 91 Freeway around 4:30 a.m., LBPD spokeswoman Jennifer De Prez said. They later arrested 11 of the 64 detained:

  • Edmond Sims, a 36-year-old resident of Long Beach, was arrested on suspicion of willful harm on a K-9 with serious injury and resisting arrest and is being held on $20,000 bail.
  • Jimmy Trinh, a 45-year-old resident of Rosemead, was arrested on suspicion of accepting wagers and is being held on $10,000 bail.
  • Deandre Gregoire, a 42-year-old resident of Bellflower, was arrested for an outstanding no-bail warrant.
  • Laura Marquez, a 35-year-old resident of Wilmington, was arrested for an outstanding warrant and is being held on $50,000 bail.
  • Jose Lara, a 27-year-old resident of Long Beach, was arrested for an outstanding warrant and is being held on $30,000 bail.
  • Tah Hill, a 35-year-old resident of Long Beach, was arrested for an outstanding no-bail warrant.
  • Richard Hernandez, a 27-year-old resident of Artesia, was arrested for an outstanding no-bail warrant.
  • Luis Magallaneszayas, a 30-year-old resident of Los Angeles, was arrested for an outstanding warrant and is being held on $10,000 bail.
  • Eddie Escobar, a 23-year-old resident of Long Beach, was arrested for two outstanding no-bail warrants.
  • Gerrardo Lopez, a 46-year-old resident of Wilmington, was arrested for an outstanding warrant and is being held on $100,000 bail.
  • Kianda Beard, a 30-year-old resident of Long Beach, was arrested for an outstanding warrant and is being held on $50,000 bail.

Police said the only injury reported from the raid was when one suspect, Sims, attempted to flee and a police dog found him. He was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries and arrested.

The address where police served the warrant was listed as a thrift store, but authorities said they found 11 gambling machines and an unknown amount of cash inside.

Residents have been complaining about the location being a nuisance over the past few months, according to Councilman Rex Richardson, who represents the area.

“I am grateful that our detectives  took decisive action in cracking down on these activities and protecting the quality of life of the families who live in this great Uptown neighborhood,” he said.

Officers detained 64 people in and around the storefront, De Prez said. Detectives were still at the scene processing evidence around 8:45 a.m.

Tuesday morning’s raid was just one of several at suspected gambling dens over the past few months.

“The Department will continue to take a proactive approach to target illegal gambling activity in the City, which can often lead to other violent crimes,” De Prez said.

On Oct. 16, police detained dozens of people on Pacific Avenue near Burnett Street. On Oct. 8, police said they arrested eight people at a location posing as a discount store on Anaheim Street near Stanley Avenue. In July, officers seized gambling machines and arrested three suspects on Cherry Avenue.

The raids came in the wake of two deadly shootings at suspected illegal gambling parlors in August and October.

Police urged anyone with information on illegal gambling activity to call vice detectives at 562-570-7219.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with more information from Councilman Rex Richardson. It was also updated to reflect the correct time police served the search warrant.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children.
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