Posted: Mar 15, 2013 5:18 PM by Rachel Cole - email@example.com
Updated: Mar 15, 2013 6:48 PM
DUVAL COUNTY -- Sheriff's deputies are still investigating a group of people who were caught with nearly $50,000 in their car. Authorities say the driver of that vehicle told officers the money had come from three separate local game rooms.
Duval County Sheriff Romeo Ramirez says he strongly believes that the money is proceeds from an illegal game room establishment. He says that strong belief of where more than $45,000 came from stems from the 5 suspects that were inside the truck when it was pulled over for blocking the roadway.
"Through talking to all 5 individuals we determined that the money was proceeds gained from these three establishments, 3 game room establishments," Sheriff Ramirez said.
Sheriff ramirez says those 3 game rooms closed down just for the day because the sheriff confiscated their operating cash but they all reopened for business this morning.
As for the 5 people, they were detained at the courthouse, questioned and then free to leave. They weren't even ticketed for the minor traffic violation they were originally pulled over for, but their truck was seized by the sheriff.
"They were released. That does not mean they are out of hot water, that does not mean that criminal charges won't come at a later time," Sheriff Ramirez said. "It's not illegal to carry around $5,000 in cash or $10,000 in cash, but it is up to the investigative division to determine whether its legal money or do we believe it's proceeds from illegal activity."
Ramirez says the money seized during the traffic stop was deposited at the First State Bank of San Diego and the suspects could get that money back if in fact it wasn't used in connection to any illegal activity.
"Maybe the money will be awarded back to the people we seized it from," Sheriff Ramirez said.
That's if it is determined they didn't do anything illegal to get the money. It's not illegal to have a game room within the city limits and it's not illegal to have 8 liner machines in your business. The Sheriff says it is only illegal to pay cash prizes which is what they are trying to determine.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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