By Bianca Fortis
Six individuals, five of whom are Queens residents, were indicted on charges of unlawfully running an illegal gambling operation, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said last week.
The ring, which allegedly took in about $1 million each year in bets, involved a centrally located wire room in Brooklyn, a second wire room in Woodhaven and more than 30 betting parlors scattered throughout Queens, Brooklyn and Nassau County, according to Brown. The wire rooms maintained a number of fax machines that received betting slips from the various parlors.
According to the DA’s office, the defendants are Saul Montalvo, 44, of 137-30 Lafayette St. in Ozone Park; his sister Veronica Montalvo, 40, of 90-02 97th Ave. in Ozone Park; his son, Daniel Montalvo, 26, of 99-11 57th Ave. in Corona, who is presently being sought; Benny Maldonado, 60, of 60-81 Myrtle Ave. in Ridgewood; Rosa Rincon, 56, of 106-17 95th Ave. in Woodhaven; and Juan Arias, 41, of 85 Strong St. in the Bronx.
They have been charged with enterprise corruption, promoting gambling and possession of gambling records, Brown said. The defendants each face up to 25 years in prison if they are convicted.
“A six-month investigation that used both court-authorized wiretaps and physical surveillance has dismantled this family-operated gambling ring that allegedly ran an old-fashioned 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. “Today’s indictment will send a clear signal that when it comes to illegal gambling in Queens County, all bets are off.”
Nineteen other individuals, who were not named by the DA, were also arrested after 12 search warrants were executed at various locations.
Brown said a long-term investigation into the ring began in February. Authorities allege that Montalvo and Arias ran the operation, he said.
Police found more than $120,000 in cash, gambling records, fax machines thought to be related to betting, hundreds of narcotic pills and weapons, the DA said.
“The NYPD follows leads where they take investigators, in this case to a converted wire room on Sutter Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn, where defendants processed thousands of dollars in gambling proceeds daily from bettors in Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau County,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.
Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4546.