SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A Santa Maria business owner has been arrested and charged in an investigation into an alleged illegal gambling operation.
The Santa Maria Police Department says its Community Services Unit has been investigating the suspected gambling operation at the Sax Fun Zone computer gaming center for months.
Thursday morning Santa Maria Police officers and investigators with the California Department of Justice served a search warrant at the business along the 100 block of West Main Street.
Santa Maria Police say items seized during the search warrant included computers, illegal slot machines, gambling paraphernalia and a large amount of cash.
The owner and operator of the Sax Fun Zone is identified as Sam Grair of Santa Maria.
Police say Grair was arrested and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on illegal gambling charges including bookmaking and wagering and possession of an illegal gambling device.
Police say some people who were inside the Sax Fun Zone at the time the search warrant was served were also arrested on various charges including narcotics possession and outstanding warrants.
The Sax Fun Zone is now shut down to the great dismay of regular customers who came by the store Thursday night.
"Its terrible, terrible, this place kept a lot of people off the streets", says regular customer Beverly Becerra, "it was just a fun place to hang out."