News


FDLE Agents make arrests in Tampa gambling operation

1/14/2017
 
For Immediate Release
January 14, 2017
 
TAMPA BAY, Fla. – Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested four
people Friday night in connection with a gambling operation used to place bets on sporting events.
 
Luis Eduardo Martinez, 29, of Tampa was charged with bookmaking, maintaining a gambling establishment and money laundering at his business Botanica San Lazaro, located in a one-story office complex at 1419 West Waters Ave., Tampa. A second business, Santa Barbara Botanica, 7460 Palm River Road, Tampa, was also used for illegal gambling.
 
Cesar Reynaldo Matos Montas, 28, was arrested on charges of bookmaking, maintaining a gambling establishment and money laundering. In addition, Ada Rivera, 57, of Tampa and Franciso Marte, 39, of West Palm Beach were both arrested for maintaining a gambling establishment.
 
During an investigation, FDLE Agents, with assistance from the Tampa Police Department and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, found Botanica San Lazaro was established as a merchandise business for retail sales but was instead used as an illegal gambling operation with no retail sales. Martinez provided customers with “pick sheets” listing sports games and the point spread for each team. After a customer placed a bet, Martinez would then give a wager slip, which showed a percentage of the potential winnings would be deducted for a “fee” on behalf of the gambling house.
 
As a result of the search warrants, U.S. currency, along with wager and betting slips, marijuana, documents and multiple computers, were seized. A semiautomatic firearm was seized at Botanica San Lazaro.

Martinez, Montas, Rivera, and Marte were transported and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.  This case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 13th Judicial Circuit.    

For Further Information Contact:
Angela Starke
FDLE Office of Public Information
(407) 988-5009 Mobile
(813) 878-7300 Tampa Bay
(850) 410-7001 Tallahassee