Two Bay Area card clubs raided by authorities

March 2, 2011 11:52:30 AM PST
The FBI and state and local authorities raided two card clubs in the Bay Area, as part of an investigation into organized crime. The Oaks Card Club in Emeryville on San Pablo Avenue was one of the targets of the raid. Artichoke Joe's Casino in San Bruno was also raided.

The manager of the Oaks Card Club said he did not have any idea that a raid would be happening until he received a phone call early Wednesday morning.

"I got scared and nervous and frozen and they said 'come here,'" said customer Don Ramos.

With a room full of customers eating breakfast and playing cards - about 80 federal, state and local officers moved in on the Oaks Card Club in Emeryville. They told the customers not to run, that this was a search of the casino, not the patrons.

"They asked us to sit down and searched us to see if we had weapons. There was this one lady that had pepper spray and she got afraid. They checked on her first," said Ramos.

The FBI confirmed that officers from seven different agencies executed search and arrest warrants at the card club as part of an investigation into crime in the Bay Area. One of the agencies is the state's Bureau of Gambling Control. Authorities refused to release any more details.

"Hopefully tomorrow or maybe the next day, we can have some information that we can send out to the public," said an officer.

Employees said they haven't seen anyone get arrested this morning. Managers say this all came as a surprise.

"I know nothing more than what you see on the TV. They aren't even letting me in," said a manager of the Oaks Card Club.


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