Long Island police discovered a clandestine Texas Hold'em club operating out of a warehouse in Farmingdale, Nassau County, it was announced last week. According to reports, officers raided the illegal poker den on Thursday night, arresting six people and confiscating approximately $10,000 in cash. Authorities also seized six card tables, poker chips, surveillance equipment, a safe, and a 1999 Dodge Durango, which was used for surveillance outside the club.
Police arrested Anthony Arcuri, 37; Arthur G. Davidson, 36; Sayed Ayub Hussain, 40; Melissa Delpezza, 29; Adam R. Trentacoste, 25; and Christian E. Demeglio, 25, for the organization and promotion of poker games. They have been charged with second-degree promoting gambling and were released without bond on Friday.
According to reports, about 30 law enforcement officers entered the premises at around 10 p.m., pointed hand guns at the players, and ordered them to lie facedown on the ground with their hands behind their heads. Anthony Arcuri claimed: "They treated us like we were hiding Osama bin Laden in here."
Police officers said the warehouse poker club was a sophisticated operation that utilized advanced surveillance and communication tactics. They claim Arcuri and Davidson served as lookouts for the establishment, patrolling the premises in the Dodge Durango and using computers and walkie-talkies to communicate with associates inside the building. Police believe players paid a $50 annual membership fee and a $20 fee in order to play in the club. In addition, they insist the "house" took a cut of each pot, which is considered illegal under New York state law. The club is alleged to have hosted up to 75 players a game.
Police were reportedly tipped off by neighbors in the surrounding area who complained of noise, increased traffic, and patrons throwing garbage on their lawns.