TRACY -- An Antioch man who is the proprietor of an Internet sweepstakes cafe is under investigation for allegedly running an illegal gambling operation out of the business, police said Wednesday.
Special Investigations Unit detectives served a search warrant Tuesday at Computer Crazy, located at 1200 W. 11th St., in Tracy, Sgt. Alex Neicu said. The business opened in November and drew the attention of law enforcement after suspicious activity began to be reported in January, Neicu said.
The owner of the business, who was not identified, has not been arrested, police said.
The owner's residence in the 2400 block of Vallecito Court in Antioch also was searched, Neicu said. The two searches netted approximately 100 computers used for gambling and more than $65,000 in cash, Neicu said. Other evidence not released by police also indicated an illegal gambling operation was going on, Neicu said.
"We continue to follow up on the leads we have, and we are continuing to collect evidence," Neicu said.
Police surveillance of the business has indicated "criminal elements" frequented the store and was beginning to affect the safety of the shopping center where it's located, Neicu said. Police have been called to the business on reports of narcotics violations, fights and other disturbances during the past four months, Neicu said.
Internet cafes sell time or phone cards in conjunction with "promotional sweepstakes," which give customers an opportunity to win money through gambling-themed games on the computer. The state Attorney General's Office considers those games to be illegal gambling, Neicu said.
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.