The Washington Post

Two accused of running illegal gambling operation in Fairfax County

Two men were charged with running an illegal gambling operation and money laundering after police executed seven search warrants at Falls Church’s Eden Center and private homes in the area, Fairfax County police said.

Falls Church residents Don T. Ong, 42, and Vinh C. Pham, 58, were arrested late Thursday night as part of an investigation into illegal gambling operations, police said.

Officers searched Cafe Nho, Nha Trang Restaurant and Eden Skin Care and Cosmetics at the Eden Center, which is a hub for the Vietnamese immigrant community in Northern Virginia.

Officers also executed search warrants at homes in 6200 block of Sandstone Way in Clifton, the 2700 block of January Court in Falls Church, the 3200 block of Holly Hill Drive in Falls Church and the 6200 block of Dana Avenue in Springfield, police said.

Police did not disclose what, if anything, was seized and declined to discuss what type of gambling operation they allege was going on.

In August, Northern Virginia police said they crippled an illegal gambling operation at Eden Center run by a gang called the Dragon Family. Officers raided 13 cafes, and seized 70 gaming machines and $1 million in cash, police said. Nineteen people were charged with misdemeanors that included gambling and alcohol violations.

The raid angered many in the Vietnamese community, who said they had never heard of the Dragon Family and that police had unfairly tarnished the reputation of the Eden Center and scared off shoppers.

A number of those arrested have been found guilty or plead guilty to illegal gambling charges related to the case. Others have had their charges dismissed.

A Fairfax County police spokesman said the most recent raid does not appear to be tied to the earlier cases.


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