UNLUCKY DAY FOR NUMBERS RACKET
Six Indicted For Running Illegal Gaming Ring
Law enforcement agents cracked an old-fashioned numbers ring in Queens last Thursday, Sept. 19, with residents of Corona, Ozone Park and Ridgewood indicted for their alleged involvement in the illegal gaming operation, it was reported.
More than a million dollars in underground bets was reportedly taken by the crew, which operated out of wire rooms in East New York and Woodhaven and took action from over two dozen secret betting parlors in Queens, Brooklyn and Nassau County.
Police executed a number of search warrants last Thursday morning at the residence of one of the suspects— Saul Montalvo—as well as the two wire rooms and a number of the underground betting parlors. More than $120,000 in cash was recovered along with fax machines, gambling records, various quantities of narcotics pills and a cache of weapons.
Among the items recovered were a loaded 9mm Taurus pistol with 16 bullets, a .45-cal. Taurus pistol with eight rounds of live ammunition believed to have been stolen last year in Pennyslvania and a .45-cal. Ruger pistol loaded with eight live rounds.
Also seized by police during the searches were a loaded 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun, two Smith & Wesson MP-15 assault rifles loaded with a high-capacity magazine and three such magazines with live ammunition.
The suspects were identified by Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly as Saul Montalvo, 44, of Lafayette Street in Ozone Park; Veronica Montalvo, 40, of 97th Avenue in Ozone Park (Saul Montalvo’s sister); Daniel Montalvo, 26, of 57th Avenue in Corona, who is the son of Saul Montalvo; Juan Arias, 41, of Strong Street in the Bronx; Benny Maldonado, 60, of Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood; and Rosa Rincon, 56, of 95th Avenue in Ozone Park.
Nineteen others were arrested on charges in connection with the investigation.
All were variously indicted on charges of enterprise corruption, first-degree promoting gambling and first-degree possession of gambling records. Each suspect faces up to 25 years behind bars if convicted.
“A six-month investigation that utilized both court-authorized wiretaps and physical surveillance has dismantled this family-operated gambling ring that allegedly ran an oldfashioned numbers racket complete with betting parlors, wire rooms and runners and collectors that handled approximately $3,000 a day in bets, or $1 million a year,” Brown said in a statement last Thursday announcing the indictment. “Today’s indictment will send a clear signal that, when it comes to illegal gambling in Queens County, all bets are off.”
“The NYPD follows leads where they take investigators, in this case to a converted wire room on Sutter Avenue in East New York, where defendants processed thousands of dollars in gambling proceeds daily from bettors in Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau County,” added Kelly. “I commend the members of the NYPD Narcotics Borough Queens who discovered the gambling operation in the course of investigating reports of cocaine and heroin trafficking and brought it to the attention of NYPD Vice Enforcement and the Queens District Attorney for a full dismantling.”
Prosecutors said the Queens Narcotics Squad and the DA’s Narcotics Investigations Bureau launched the joint investigation in February after learning of the illegal numbers running operation, which was allegedly overseen by Saul Montalvo and Arias.
Law enforcement sources stated most of the bets were received out of a central wire room located on Sutter Avenue in East New York, allegedly under the control of Veronica Montalvo and others. Reportedly, the wire room was equipped with fax machines which received betting slips from over 30 illegal betting parlors.
Additional bets were received and processed out of a second wire room located at a home in Woodhaven and allegedly operated by Rincon, authorities stated.
It is alleged Daniel Montalvo and Maldonado acted as runners by collecting and distributing money. Prosecutors said Daniel Montalvo owned the Mossburg shotgun and MP-15 assault rifles seized.
Leading the investigation was Det. Andrew Lenski of the NYPD Queens Narcotics Division, which is supervised by Sgt. Christopher Owen, Lt. John Hennig, Capt. Louis M. Vierling and Inspector Michael E. Bryan; and under the overall supervision of Chief Joseph J. Reznick, commanding officer of the NYPD Narcotics Division, and Chief Thomas Purtell, commander of the NYPD Organized Crime Control Bureau.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Jason P. Yampolsky and Philip D. Anderson of the DA’s Narcotics Investigations Bureau, which is supervised by Assistant District Attorneys Wilbert J. LeMelle, bureau chief, and Karen J Friedman, deputy bureau chief.