ROY, Utah – Nearly two dozen illegal slot machines were seized Monday during a raid on a convenience store in Roy, officials said.
An investigation by the CASE task force – short for “Crimes Against Statewide Economy” – found that there were illegal machines inside a Texaco gas station at 4395 S. 1900 West, according to the detective. Josh Taylor of the Roy City Police Department.
According to Taylor, the machines allowed people to put in money, play games and cash out. He said there were about 20 inside the store.
The Utah Attorney General‘s Office later reported that Neel Jagdish Patel, 30, the store owner, had been arrested and charged with 20 counts of fringe gaming devices, one count of money laundering and a pattern of illegal activity.
The GA’s office said undercover agents had been watching the store for months. This included agents entering, playing games and receiving cash payments.
There were people using the machines when officers served the warrant, but Taylor said they were able to leave and were not charged.
Taylor added that there were “quite a few” locations with machines like these around town, but most of them are now gone.
The task force, which included the Utah Department of Public Safety, the Utah attorney general’s office and local police departments, executed a search warrant on the machines on Monday. Taylor said his department was mainly involved in the mandate, while other members of the task force were dealing with the main investigation. The GA’s office said they were undercover investigators.
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He said that many people are familiar with the machines in the store and many people come in and out of the store to use them.
The area is known to have “a little more crime,” Taylor said, but they hope this move will help reduce that. An example of crime in the region occurred in August, when a a man allegedly tried to kidnap a 10-year-old girl in front of the same gas station.
“Thanks to our task force, investigators and prosecutors, this operation will not hit the jackpot,” the GA’s office wrote in a Facebook post.
Taylor added that they had also seen comments on social media indicating that “a lot of people seem to be happy with … the aspect of the game being closed.”