Illicit casinos in San Diego County attract gangs, drugs, violence in quiet neighborhoods


Tucked in an aging strip mall next to a coffee shop and a tax preparer in central San Diego, a clothing alterations shop was running a particularly brisk business.

But expert tailoring wasn’t the draw.

A task force raid in October found evidence of an illegal gambling den, with 16 video gaming machines, about $1,700 in cash concealed in drywall, drugs and methamphetamine pipes, according to an FBI search warrant affidavit.

That same night, investigators busted a similar den, this one also in the City Heights neighborhood, operating in a unit behind a small house.

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