Police bust illegal casino operating out of East Oakland

Neighbors in one East Oakland neighborhood say they witnessed it-a big bust on the 1400 block of 14th Avenue by police.

It's a site that neighbors pointed out, also operates as a car wash.

Police complaints from community members led them an illegal casino with ties to  violence, drugs and human trafficking.

Investigators released photos of guns, drugs and cash.  Police say they seized the items during what is being described as an illegal casino bust.

They say it took place Thursday afternoon around 2:30.

"We've shut down at least 3 illegal gambling operations in and around the same area. We do know that they're tied to violence including murders, kidnappings, again narcotics trafficking and human trafficking," says Police Captain James Beere.

One neighbor spoke to KTVU on the condition that he remains anonymous, "They had guns out. They ordered everybody to come out, one by one. Probably 20 people in there." 

He says people would park their cars in a nearby lot after business hours and walk over to the car wash. Of the raid, he says, "Whatever helps to take some of that illegal activity off the street is helpful for the neighborhood."

The car wash was open Friday afternoon when a KTVU crew approached a man who appeared to be in charge of the business.

When asked if he wanted to give his side of the story, he replied, "I do the car wash. Nothing to say. I'm doing the car wash only."

Police say they confiscated eight firearms including two assault rifles, 30 high capacity magazines, a large amount of drugs with a street value of $76,000, $21,000 in cash and 18 illegal casino gaming machines.

One person was arrested.

"It's not ending here. We're going to continue and we're going to continue looking," says Captain Beere.

"I hope they do more actually. Like for me, I don't feel unsafe but when my kids walk out. I always feel unsafe for them," says neighbor Sandy Try  

Another neighbor who works and lives in the area says he fears for his family's safety but questions how effective this one raid will be.

"I don't know if that's going to change. They may do again in another place," says Alonso Quintero.

Police say more arrests may be coming.

"They're a part of a larger, organized crime ring. I do know that there's multiple groups that operate these throughout the Bay Area,"  Captain Beere says Oakland police are working with other law enforcement agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

They say these illegal casinos are being run from businesses, homes, and abandoned  buildings

And some are even mobile. They're being operated out of U-Haul trucks to avoid detection.