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I'm putting them on notice."
Eight liners are not in and of themselves illegal; what matters is how they operate.
"What they initially did, I'm talking years ago, they were giving away groceries and stuffed animals," Saenz said. "But, of course, that was left behind a long, long time ago. Now, they're paying cash.
"So if they do not take action to stop that, their property is subject to seizure and forfeiture."
Sheriff Larry Spence and Zamora said it is difficult for game hall operators to find good buildings in Willacy County, but eight liner machines are so profitable that some are buying houses at far above market value, or tearing down existing buildings to build new businesses.
"Nobody believes that (only prizes under $5 value are awarded)," Zamora said.
Game rooms operate legally if they are a form of entertainment and offer prizes up to $5 in value. But if they offer cash payouts, that's considered gambling and is illegal.
Zamora said there are currently seven game halls in Raymondville. If more move here, he said he doesn't expect them to obey the law even the first day they open.
Saenz warns that raids in Cameron County will continue. His office is sending letters to the owners of 200 properties where eight liner activity is known to be taking place.
"If you stopped to think of it, if you owned a business like this and you were awarding groceries and a stuffed animal, would you be making money?
Gonzales agreed that gambling breeds more illegal activity, such as money laundering and loan sharking.
Asked whether any raids are imminent, he said, "Absolutely, you can count on it. We're heading to Rio Hondo, we're heading to Los Fresnos, Port Isabel. We're coming."
Saenz also warns that in future raids, the customers of these arcades will be arrested. "As this thing goes on, at some point we're going to start arresting the patrons themselves. So Prada Handbags Dubai
"And if you're giving away stuffed animals, as you should, do you need a security guard at the door to guard the Prada Tote Bags 2017
their public comments about eight liner operations. When asked if he might consider taking action against game halls, Willacy County District Attorney Bernard Ammerman said, "I can't talk to you about that."
Willacy County officials are being guarded in Prada Cahier Mini
Although many game halls display cheap prizes like low priced household goods, stuffed animals or other trinkets, they all pay off in cash, which is illegal under Texas law, the police chief said.
"A good analogy is a smoking pipe," Saenz said. "A smoking pipe is legal. But when you put marijuana in there, why, it becomes illegal."
Although many gambling violations are only misdemeanors, Gonzales said he would do his part as presiding judge of the Willacy County Court. "If people are convicted of Class A misdemeanors, I'll give them the max: $4,000 fines and a year in the county jail," he said.
"After our operation on Friday night, they started moving out Saturday and Sunday. We witnessed eight liners being loaded up by owners and hauled away," Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said. He declined to name the officials.
"These are real estate owners in the county who are either renting or leasing these places (to operators) and we're putting them on notice that their premises are being used for criminal activity," Saenz said.
Spence said he had a brief discussion with Ammerman on Thursday about game halls, but refused to discuss what was said.
These arcades spawn criminal activity related to them from public corruption, including bribery of public officials, to money laundering to robberies to shootings, Saenz said.
Willacy County Judge John F. Gonzales Jr. said game operators are constantly asking how to get county permits but learn they only have to open a business, not get a permit for game machines.
The DA gave the same reply when asked if any state agencies might be taking action. Ammerman had a similar Handbag Prada Original Price comment when asked whether he had discussed Cameron County operations with Saenz.
Law enforcement officials suspect that many eight liner arcades are operating legally.
Liners move north to Willacy
At least two game operators went to Raymondville City Hall this past week to ask about getting a permit to open, and others from Cameron County are already trying to buy property, Police Chief Uvaldo Zamora said.
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