Convenience Store Owner Accused Of Running Illegal Gaming Operation
TULSA, Oklahoma - A convenience store owner is in jail, accused of running an illegal gaming operation out of his east Tulsa shop.
Ashraf Salim is in the Tulsa County jail right now; his arrest report says an undercover deputy was able to gamble on slot machines inside the convenience store Salim owns.
The store is currently closed, but when you look inside there are some empty spaces where investigators say four now confiscated slot machines used to sit.
“When I walked in I thought that we were gonna go to some back room on the property where these machines were kept, but when I turned around, they were right there by the window. They were completely in open sight. Everybody who would come in the store would see them,” said Casey Roebuck with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.
The stickers on the machines say they're for fun only - the customer gets no cash or credit from playing.
But Roebuck said when an undercover deputy went in to play and won, the deputy walked away with cash from the store register.
“That gave us enough probable cause that we needed to get a warrant,” Roebuck said.
Deputies arrested the store owner, Salim, Wednesday morning at his south Tulsa home. Roebuck said Salim was laundering the slot machine money to live a lavish lifestyle.
“When the proceeds of this are likely going to fund a criminal enterprise, that does affect people. It does line the pockets of criminals who prey on people,” she said.
Salim was arrested in 2014 in connection with a multi-state K2 ring bust but hasn't gone to trial yet for that case.
The most recent arrest report says deputies also confiscated small amount of synthetic marijuana from the store.
The sheriff's office said Homeland Security agents are also involved in the investigation, and it's likely the feds will seize Salim's home and business.