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“We are taking it to the Federal level and we will pursue these guys in court,” said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, whose office is the lead prosecutor for the case. “We are looking at every option we possibly can.”
The case involves three alleged gamblers who allegedly had access to “over 1 million” roulette spins at several casinos in and around the San Diego area between June 2009 and July 2005 — a time span when at least 18 people died after trying to gamble on the Internet.
An affidavit for a search warrant released Thursday said that evidence had led investigators to identify three gamblers, including “Victor and Dwayne R. Williams of San Diego.” They face several felony counts for betting thousands of dollars on roulette.
One of the alleged gamblers, Victor Williams, is currently out on bond since he fled the country when the investigation began three weeks ago.
“At the end of the day, this is about taking criminal activity out of the Internet, and getting the criminals caught,” Fishman said. “I applaud their work in getting this done.”
An FBI spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a phone call Friday night seeking comment on the allegations. No arrests have been made, but investigators are looking into surveillance video in an attempt to identify more potential suspects.
The FBI also began a preliminary investigation of illegal gambling on the Internet in September 2007, after an FBI employee in a Chicago suburb claimed he was the victim of a computer scam. The case remains under investigation.
“We’re going to continue investigating and hopefully we’ll make these guys pay,” Fishman said.
The gamblers were identified as Williams, 31, of La Mesa, Calif., Rene Ramos, 24, of El Cajon and the three victims, who died during the time period, according to the ATF. The gamblers allegedly controlled the slot machine and played the game at the Casa San Diego Casino in San Diego County for up to five hours a day at the San Diego Riverfront Casino while traveling to San Diego to gamble.
It’s not clear whether the gambles affected the three men’s mental health, according to the ATF affidavit. However, one of the alleged gamblers, who used the handle John John, contacted investigators after the deaths, saying he’d lost several
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