New Jersey authorities arrested three Newark men accused of illegal gambling and alcohol sales last weekend, according to news reports.
Victor Pereira, 61, José DaSilva, 53, and Byron Barraza, 31, were taken into custody Saturday at the Portuguese Soccer Cub at 215 Wilson Ave. in Newark, according to WNBC-TV in New York.
Pereira and DaSilva face charges of maintaining an unlawful liquor establishment, possession of alcohol, illegal sale of alcohol, and possession of gambling devices, the television station reported. Barraza faces an aiding-and-abetting charge.
At about 10 pm on Saturday, detectives saw Barraza open a gate at the club for customers who were coming in and leaving. The detectives went inside and saw about 50 people “drinking alcohol, playing cards, and using gambling machines,” according to WNBC-TV.
Pereira was behind a fully stocked bar, serving drinks. The bar had various liquor, wine, and beers available. DaSilva, identified as the manager, could not produce the paperwork required for selling alcohol, the news station reported.
Police confiscated $6,829 in illegal alcohol sales and 403 bottles of beer, wine, and liquor. Authorities also retrieved cash from the gambling machines, according to WNBC-TV.
The Newark Police Division’s Environmental, Graffiti, and Vice Crimes Task Force made the arrests, according to Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose.
Saturday’s bust was at least the second in about a month involving suspected illegal gambling and alcohol sales in Newark.
In late December, Newark police working with the vice task force raided a party inside a warehouse on Libella Court, according the newspaper website nj.com.
In this bust, police discovered 200 people inside the warehouse. The revelers were eating, drinking alcohol, and participating in illegal gambling, Ambrose said in a statement.
When COVID-19 cases spiked, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) placed a 10-person limit on indoor gatherings.
Inside the warehouse, police saw two women selling alcohol behind a makeshift bar. Neither could produce paperwork showing they were licensed to sell alcohol, according to nj.com.
Police arrested Denisse Tinizaray, 26, and Katherine Tinizaray, 28, both of Newark. They were booked on suspicion of maintaining an illegal liquor establishment, illegal possession of alcohol, and illegal sale of alcohol, the newspaper website reported.
Mafioso on Trial
Accusations of illegal gambling have surfaced in other recent incidents in the area.
In Philadelphia, 15 reputed mobsters and associates were arrested late last year on suspicion of illegal gambling and other crimes.
Among the defendants are Joseph “Joey Electric” Servidio, 60, Anthony “Tony Meatballs” Gifoli, 73, and Louis “Louie Sheep” Barretta, 56.
Prosecutors have asked the judge to delay the trial, according to Philadelphia Mafia expert Dave Schratwieser. Coronavirus restrictions limit public gatherings and could impact jury availability and selection, prosecutors said.
A trial date has not been set.
On the global stage, more than 350 accused mafioso are on trial in Italy on various criminal charges. These defendants are suspected members of the ’Ndrangheta. This Calabrian crime organized crime group has been accused of murder, drug trafficking, illegal gambling and more.
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