Police Raid Suspected Hilo Gambling Operations

July 24, 2012, 8:23 AM HST · Updated July 24, 8:24 AM

Photo courtesy Hawai’i Island police.

By Wendy Osher

Police disrupted suspected gambling operations at three locations in Hilo, Hawai’i on Friday.

Authorities say police seized 33 suspected illegal gambling machines, suspected gambling records and large sums of cash while executing search warrants of the businesses on Friday, July 20, 2012.

Locations included the Tilt Amusement Center on Puainako Street, Da Little Game Shack on Kawili Street, and 777 Arcade on Manono Street.


Police arrested three individuals on suspicion of gambling including: Paul Lagat, 47, of Keaʻau (from Tilt Amusement Center); Lance Yamada, 50, of Hilo (from 777 Arcade); and Serena Valenzuela, 39, of Pāhoa (from Da Little Game Shack).  All were released pending further investigation.

Police say the execution of the search warrants was the result of an investigation using undercover officers and tips from the public.

“The Hawaiʻi Police Department thanks the public for providing tips and information that assisted police with the disruption of these suspected illegal gambling operations,” said Lieutenant Burt Shimabukuro from the Area I Vice Section in a statement.

The investigation is ongoing.


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