Vice investigators in Washington, Alexandria and Fairfax County simultaneously raided 24 locations yesterday, seizing ledgers and other gambling paraphernalia. The raids climaxed a month-long, areawide investigation of illegal numbers operations.
"Today's operation was probably the largest-ever gambling strike in Alexandria," said that city's police chief, Charles T. Strobel, yesterday.
Telephone logs, records of wages and lists of incomes and expenditures were seized at 14 locations in the downtown and Arlandria sections of Alexandria, police said. Two Fairfax County and eight D.C. locations were also raided, according to authorities in those jurisdictions. No arrests have been made and detective Cecil Hemsley of the intelligence and organized-crime section of the Alexandria police said evidence would be presented to a grand jury for possible indictments.
Hemsley said the investigation began when the District's gambling squad notified Virginia police of suspected gambling locations. Alexandria police then used a "pen register," which records telephone numbers involved in calls to and from certain locations, and that led them to other suspected gambling spots in the city.
Hemsley said the operations handled bets that allegedly amounted to "$7,500 to $10,000 a day in Alexandria alone." In one 20-day period, Hemsley said, one location received 3,600 telephone calls.
Fairfax County police spokeswoman Carolyn Burns said that residents at 2701 Eastside Dr. and 6224 Quander Rd. were raided yesterday at about 3:30 p.m. Police in the other jurisdictions declined to identify the locations raided.
A task force of more than 50 officers from the Alexandria police department were involved in the raids, Hemsley said, adding that smaller locations allegedly phoned in their bets to the suspected Alexandria headquarters of the operation on North Payne Street, which then reportedly relayed bets to the District.
Arrest warrants are pending following further investigation and analysis of the seized documents, Burns said.