Woodlawn Lake neighbors surprised by illegal gambling operation hiding in plain sight

SAN ANTONIO – Neighbors near Woodlawn Lake are shocked after Bexar County deputies raided a home that was the site of an illegal gambling operation.

Alphonso Santos has lived in the 400 block of W. Woodlawn Avenue for nearly eight months and, for the first time, came home on Thursday night to find his street filled with police lights and patrol cars.

Santos told KSAT in Spanish that he had no idea that deputies were in the middle of an illegal gambling raid that led to dozens of people in handcuffs and deputies seizing roughly 40 eight-liners.

Santos thought the home was being remodeled and didn’t notice people were going inside to play on eight-liner machines. The people staying at the house had been there for a little over a month, according to Santos and another neighbor.

On Thursday, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said deputies found at least one stolen vehicle during the raid on W. Woodlawn. They also raided a home in the 100 block of Esma Street on the South Side and believe these illegal gambling operations are linked.

“I can’t even say that they’re trying very hard to hide what they’re doing from folks, but as we all know, when you’ve got an organized crime group conducting business like this, it certainly could turn violent at any given time,” said Salazar. “It is quite possible that since the two locations are linked, there will be charges at a later date of engaging in organized criminal activity.”

Deputies detained a total of 33 people and seized nearly 60 gambling machines on Thursday night. Santos said he is now keeping a closer eye on his surroundings and would have never imagined any illegal activity there.

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