Police and FBI agents teamed up to raid nearly a dozen Vietnamese cafes in San Jose Tuesday evening.
The raids dubbed "Operation Omni" are part of an illegal gaming investigation and were all held at 6 p.m. and which capped off a year and a half of investigation, authorities said. Police said they were trying to crack down not only on illegal video machine gambling, but wanted to stamp out all the violence, prostitution and drugs that go along with the activity. There are only four kinds of gambling that are legal in California, which include card rooms, Native American casinos, the Lottery and race tracks.
Dozens of people were detained and questioned. In addition, about 100 slot machines were confiscated during the raids. Still, several customers approached by NBC Bay Area said they had no idea what the raid was about. One man, wearing sunglasses and who declined to give his name, said: "This is a coffee shop. No gambling. I don't know anything."
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Another man also said he didn't know why the police were there as a crowd in the parking lot shouted to him, "Don't say nothing."
Police said all the slot machines combined can bring in up to $100,000 per week in illegal gaming.
"We do know sometimes there is prostitution, drugs and violence and we want to remove that," San Jose Police Sgt. Heather Randol said. "These machines bring in a lot of money and so there's competition for that money. We want to make sure this does not continue here in San Jose."
Raids were held at the following locations:
- Mai Phuong Cafe, 2897 Senter Road
- Xinh Xinh Cafe, 1075 Tully Road
- Wave Cafe, 1969 Tully Road
- Got Hong Coffee House, 1694 Tully Road
- Vogue Cafe, 2455 Alvin Road
- Tuong Vi Cafe, 2485 Alvin Road
- Cafe Dang, 2860 Quimby Road
- Thuy Em Cafe, 1054 Story Road
- 168 Cafe, 950 Story Road
- Xanh Cafe, 1915 Alum Rock Ave.
- Golden King Teahouse, 2650 Alum Rock Ave.
Tuesday's raids follows similar operations held last month that netted more illegal gaming machines.
Officers in that raid confiscated five slot machines and a surveillance monitor from the Family Wash and Dry business, about two block from San Jose City Hall.