PROVIDENCE, RI- Over the past seven months the Providence Police Department Organized Crime and Intelligence Unit has been investigating Illegal Lottery and Book Making being operated out of several store fronts and commercial businesses in Providence while also utilizing residential dwellings to facilitate the illegal gambling.
Throughout the investigation Detectives obtained five search warrants, three for businesses and two for the private residences. Search warrants were executed on April 9, 2016 at approximately 20:30 hours at the following locations: 910 Broad Street (Yami Cell Phones), 577 Cranston Street (Vanidades Lumy), 456 Prairie Avenue (Moviles Y Mas), 333 Plainfield Street 2nd Floor, and 102 Mitchell Street 2nd Floor. At the above locations police seized $60,278 in U.S. Currency and various items and paperwork that are associated with an illegal gambling operation. Stephany Cabrera, age 24; Pamela Espinal, age 20; Noel Acevedo, age 42; Ivelisse Bencosme, age 22; Frannys Gomez Urbaez, age 37; and Kelvin Leonel Vasquez Bisono, age 35 were all charged with Organized Criminal Gambling Business, Bookmaking, Forms of Gambling Prohibited, and Keeping a Gambling Place. They were held for 6th District Court.
Coinciding with the above investigation, the Organized Crime and Intelligence Unit was also conducting an investigation into a subject known as Felix Vasquez aka Dionis Arias, age 45, who was also conducting illegal gambling, consisting of sports and numbers betting. Through their detailed investigation police learned that Vasquez/Arias utilized the store front located at 1093 Broad Street known as Quisquevana 401 Multiservice. Police executed a search warrant at this location also on April 9, 2016. At this location police seized an additional $8,785 in U.S. Currency, computers, betting slips and other evidence associated with illegal gambling. Vasquez/Arias stated to police that he resided at 63 Wyoming Street, Warwick.
Felix Vasquez aka Dionis Arias and his co-conspirators Francisco Espinal alias John Doe, age 27 and Mery Garcia, age 22, were charged by police with Gambling and Lotteries, Keeping of Gambling Places, Gambling and Lottery Forms of Gambling Prohibited and Bookmaking. They were held for 6th District Court. Providence Police, with assistance from Warwick Police Department, executed a search warrant at 63 Wyoming Street, Warwick where police seized over a quarter kilo of Fentanyl which holds a street value of approximately $60,000. Also seized at this location was a money counting machine and various items associated with an illegal gambling operation.
These operations are still currently under investigation and police are working to determine if these two illegal gambling networks are associated.
“This operation not only puts a stop to an expansive illegal gambling syndicate, it also resulted in a sizable seizure of drugs which are known to contribute to countless deaths from overdose,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “I commend the Organized Crime and Intelligence Unit for their outstanding work to bring these complex criminal operations to justice.”
“I commend the Investigators in the Organized Crime and Intelligence Unit who are tasked with the challenging job of investigating organized criminal activity in our City,” said Colonel Clements. “The Providence Police Department is committed to dismantling these illegal organizations and the announcement of today’s arrests should serve as a deterrent to criminals involved in these activities.”