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Five arrested on organized crime, gambling charges after weeks-long game room investigation

Warrants were served at two southside game rooms on Tuesday resulting in the arrests, according to the Corpus Christi Police Department.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Five women were arrested and several thousands of dollars in cash was seized from two southside businesses Tuesday after the Corpus Christi Police Department Narcotics and Vice Investigations Division (NVID) served warrants at two game rooms, according to a statement from the CCPD.

Robbie Austin, age 60; Vanessa Olague, age 26; Claudia Resendez, age 21; Jessica Guerra, age 31; and Laura Colunga, age 22, were all arrested on illegal gambling and engaging in organized crime charges. 

The investigation started after police were tipped off about the operation, according to the statement. NVID detectives investigated the businesses on Saratoga Blvd. for weeks before search warrants were approved. During the search, gambling equipment, along with $36,000 in cash, was seized. 

Austin, Olague, Resendez, and Guerra were additionally charged with gambling promotion, keeping a gambling place, and possession of a gambling device, while Colunga was additionally charged with keeping a gambling place, the statement said.   

Fourteen people in the game room were issued warning citations for gambling and released at the scene, officials said. 

The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are possible, according to the statement. 

"We're trying to send a message to these different game rooms that what they're doing is illegal and we're serious about it and we're going to keep conducting these investigations and we will file the appropriate charges," said Todd Green, Assistant Chief of CCPD's Investigations Bureau. 

Green said about 80 letters were sent to various game rooms around the Coastal Bend, reminding them of the law. He said the investigation is currently ongoing and that more could be arrested as they follow the money to see who else is involved.

NVID Detectives were assisted in the operation by officers with the CCPD Operations Division and investigators with the State of Texas Comptroller’s Office, which regulates coin operated machines.

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