BOSTON, April 8, 2008—Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley today announced the largest seizure of electronic evidence in Massachusetts history as more than two dozen search warrants were executed at locations throughout Boston and across Massachusetts as authorities took down an organized gambling syndicate conservatively estimated to be in excess of a million dollars per year.Joined by representatives of the Boston Police Department, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Massachusetts State Police, United States Secret Service, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Conley announced the execution of Operation Barbershop – the culmination of a 15-month investigation into an underground gambling ring with franchises in a dozen Massachusetts businesses.
“Make no mistake: this was not a harmless neighborhood lottery or sports book,” Conley said. “It was a gambling enterprise where the game was rigged in favor of the ring and it was fraught with violence and corruption. Every dollar that went into this ring was a dollar stolen from the Commonwealth and its residents. Not only did its principals deprive the state of tax revenue on more than a million dollars a year, they regularly deprived players of their winnings when it suited their purposes.”
Targeted in the investigation were the gambling syndicate’s alleged ringleader JESUS REYNOSO, aka MARCOS, age 44, of Roslindale and his alleged enforcer, VICTOR ROSADO, aka MORENO, age 39, of Mattapan. Both were arrested without incident this afternoon after Massachusetts State Police effected motor vehicle stops on their cars, which had been tracked by hidden GPS devices. Each faces 15 years in state prison and fines of up to $10,000 on charges of organizing a gambling syndicate.
Beginning at 2:30 p.m., Conley said, 15 teams of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies fanned out to executed simultaneous warrants on multiple locations including Reynoso and Rosado’s homes and vehicles. Also targeted were nine commercial establishments in Dorchester, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and Roxbury, as well as businesses in Lawrence, Leominster, and Worcester. Each business allegedly served as a front for Reynoso and Rosado’s syndicate, with individual operators allegedly paying 60% of their gambling profits to the ringleaders.
Evidence developed in the course of the investigation suggests that Reynoso and Rosado provided their franchisees with laptop computers and printers that allowed them to take and record wagers. Investigators obtained search warrants for each computer, which will be seized and subjected to a forensic examination by qualified technicians from Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office, the United States Secret Service, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Suffolk prosecutors and members of the Boston Police Department Special Investigations Unit launched the investigation in the aftermath of a January 2007 armed robbery at one of the targeted venues. The extensive surveillance that followed revealed a network through which flowed more than a million dollars per year.
“Forensic technicians have already begun the work of analyzing seized computers and cell phones to determine their prior criminal use,” Conley said. “At a Secret Service command post just a few blocks from here, state and federal investigators are turning those hard drives into hard evidence.”
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.