San Jose, California Gambling Raid Leads to Over $600K Worth of Marijuana Seized

Posted on: November 4, 2021, 12:35h. 

Last updated on: November 4, 2021, 01:15h.

Two men were arrested last week for operating an illegal gambling joint in San Jose, Calif. When authorities searched the property and the suspects’ homes, they reportedly found over 300 pounds of suspected marijuana. It has a street value of about $600,000, San Jose police revealed on Thursday.

John Le, Mike Lee
John Le, left, and Mike Lee, pictured above. The two men were arrested after the San Jose police raided an illegal gambling operation. (Image: San Jose PD)

The alleged proprietors of the operation were identified as John Le, 45, and Mike Le, 36, each residing in San Jose. Both were charged last week with operating an underground casino, as well as weapons possession, and marijuana sales, police said.

They were reportedly in custody late last week in the Santa Clara County Jail, awaiting court appearances. It is unclear if the duo are related.

Gambling, Drugs, Stolen Property Alleged

The inquiry into the operation began during the summer. The San Jose police department’s Burglary Prevention Unit suspected there was illicit activity taking place in an industrial area in North San Jose.

The location was a hub for a variety of illegal activities, including gambling, drug dealing, and the buying and selling of stolen property,” San Jose police claimed in a recent statement.

A local judge approved a search warrant for the property. The venue was raided by police on Sept. 17.

Upon entry of officers, people there scattered through tunnels to adjacent businesses, and broke down walls in an effort to escape, police said.

Massive Marijuana Operation

The suspects eventually were apprehended as many tried to flee out of a neighboring business. Arrests were made.

A local judge approved a search warrant for the property
Guns, marijuana and other items seized during a police raid of a San Jose illegal gaming operation and neighboring marijuana operation. (Image: San Jose PD)

Police have yet to identify the suspects. The charges are also unclear.

While following the suspects’ route of travel, detectives discovered that one of the businesses the suspects passed through was a massive illegal indoor marijuana growing operation,” San Jose cops said in the statement.

Police then asked for and received a second search warrant from a judge for another suspicious location, cops said. Searching that property, they seized 33 pounds of suspected marijuana, 25 pounds of a THC product, ammunition, and firearms, authorities said. Among the items seized there was a loaded, high-capacity rifle magazine, police said.

Then, on Oct. 29, police undertook a search of the suspects’ homes. Police said they found additional marijuana, firearms, and ammunition. The two men are forbidden to own firearms, police said.

Prior California Raids

Throughout California, police have raided slaphouses and other illegal gambling operations in recent years. Police often seize cash, illegal gaming devices, illegal drugs, and weapons during these searches.  In one such raid in October of last year in Anaheim, 70 people were detained.

Some 25 were given citations for such offenses as drug possession. Thirteen were booked at the Anaheim Detention Facility for more serious offenses, including warrants, parole/probation violations, and gambling violations.

“Slaphouse” is the term used to describe an illegal gambling operation found in a residence or business, KABC, a local TV station, explained in a report. The name relates to players “slapping” the controls on some of the games.