LAKE COUNTY — Lake County Deputies seized over $200,000 in cash and arrested four people Thursday while conducting raids on gaming establishments.
The raids were an end to a two-month investigation, dubbed “Operation Jackpot”, into local sweepstakes cafes that were allegedly conducting illegal gambling operations.
The investigation began after the Lake County Sheriff’s Department received numerous complaints about the businesses possibly being operated illegally. Other similar tips were also received through the Florida Crimeline hotline.
During the investigation, detectives determined that ten locations were engaged in illegal activity and search warrants were isued for each location.
The search warrants were served Thursday on al ten locations, some of them simultaneously.
During the searches, deputies seized multiple televisions, cash machines, and over $200,000 in cash, $100,000 more than what was previously reported yesterday.
Three people were arrested and charged with gambling-related charges, one was arrested for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and several other arrests are expected in the near future.
Among those arrests were 26-year-old Christopher DeCotis was arrested at Lucky U, also known to locals as “Hot Spot”, a gaming establishment located in Suite C at 25010 Highway 27 in Leesburg. DeCotis was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of drug paraphernalia.
During the raid on Fantasy Entertainment, located in Suite E at 25010 Highway 27 in Leesburg, deputies arrested 50-year-old Luis Hernandez and 38-year-old Samir Aguiar. Both were charged with keeping an establishment for gaming or gambling.
Another arrest was made at Winners of Clermont, a cafe located at 1529 Sunrise Plaza Drive in Clermont where 42-year-old Brenda Martinez was arrested and charged with keeping an establishment for gaming or gambling.
Some of the locations involved are:
- Hot Seats, located at 25327 Highway 27 in Leesburg.
- Lucky U (aka Hot Spot), located at 25010 Highway 27, Suite C, in Leesburg.
- Dreamers, 25010 Highway 27, Suite A, Leesburg.
- Fantasy Entertainment, 25010 Highway 27, Suite E, Leesburg.
- Winners of Leesburg, 4120 Highway 27, Leesburg.
- Hot Spot II (aka Lake Copy and Print), 37415 Highway 19, Dona Vista.
- Stop N Play, 28333 Highway 27, Leesburg.
- Winners of Clermont, 1529 Sunrise Plaza Drive, Clermont.
- Mega Play, 1213 Highway 27, Clermont.
- Los Chiflados (aka Three Stooges), 1450 Sunrise Plaza Drive, Clermont.