KEY POINTS

  • The raids were spread throughout San Diego and targeted 24 locations
  • The locations were in residential areas, most of them in City Heights
  • Illegal possession of firearms, drug trafficking also exposed

More than 30 people were arrested and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth goods seized in a massive raid by federal and local enforcement agencies in San Diego on Wednesday.

About 400 officers took part in the mission that involved the FBI, U.S. Homeland Security and the San Diego Police Department. They began the operation in the middle of the night and targeted 24 locations, primarily in East San Diego neighborhoods.

The federal investigation surrounding gambling in San Diego has been in the works for years.

The dens had more than illegal gambling happening around them. They were home to a slew of criminal activities, such as unlawful possession of firearms and drug trafficking, FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner told NBC7.

The police arrested 35 people and seized $263,000 in cash, 12 pounds of methamphetamine, 44 firearms and 640 gambling machines, according to The San Diego Tribune.

The grand jury indictment revealed that the illegal gambling dens were usually in houses, businesses, or apartments in residential areas. Most of them were in City Heights.

Patrons of the dens weren’t drawn in by the gambling machines they could use, but by the methamphetamine being bought and sold there.

The dens were magnets for crime, according to what Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said to NBC7. “We have taken down the illegal gambling dens, and we have lifted a weight off our neighborhoods.”

San Diego Police Police block off roads as they protect a crime scene after a San Diego police officer was fatally shot and another was wounded in San Diego, California, July 29, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake