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2 arrested, 6 machines seized in Chinatown gambling raid

By Rob Shikina

LAST UPDATED: 2:49 p.m. HST, May 5, 2012

Six gambling machines were recovered and two people were arrested for outstanding warrants Friday night in a raid at the same Chinatown building where police seized gaming machines on at least two previous occasions.

Sgt. Thomas Santos said the raid was prompted by community complaints of gambling and drug dealing on the property.

Officers served the gambling search warrant at 162 N. King St., and found six people on the second floor, Santos said. 

Two people were arrested for outstanding warrants. The others were questioned and released.

Officers brought down six electronic "fruit" machines, similar to a slot machine where players can win money by lining up the fruit on the screen. Police placed the machines into evidence. Officers with the Specialized Services Division, along with a police dog, assisted District 1 Crime Reduction Unit officers in the raid about 7 p.m.

The property, located on the mauka side of King Street, between River and Kekaulike streets, did not have any identifying signs. Brown paper and dark tint covered the windows, but an interior metal screen door could be seen when the outer door was opened. Signs were posted in the window advertising the property as available for rent.

A police source said the gambling operation had different levels of security, including cameras on the outside to screen people who were entering. The source said illegal gambling operations usually cater to a regular clientele and are known for drug dealing because the clientele have been screened.

Thomas said an official with the Attorney General's Office was also at the scene to issue a nuisance abatement warning to the property owner, which could lead to the state condemning the property if the illegal activity doesn't stop.

On Dec. 6, 2011, four people were arrested for gambling at the address and police found various electronic gaming machines.

On Sept. 15, 2010, officers responded to reports of gunfire and a robbery on the second floor of 162 N. King St. When officers got upstairs, they found no evidence of a robbery or a shooting, but seized about a dozen illegal video gaming machines.

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