A police raid on an Internet gambling café in Tracy, California last May is turning out to be a jackpot for the local Boys & Girls Clubs this week as police department officials distribute 39 of 50 confiscated computers following the formal conviction of the previous owner on illegal gambling charges and a court distribution order.
Sgt. Alex Neicu, supervisor of Tracy Police Department’s special investigations unit, said officers confiscated the computers when they raided the Computer Crazy Internet Café following a multiagency investigation into reports of illegal online gambling on the premises.
The defendant in the case, Patricia Simmons, pleaded no contest to online gambling charges in October, with a condition that the seized equipment be given to charity.
The newest computers from the confiscated equipment – mainly Dell and Gateway machines with monitors, keyboards and mice – have been purged of online gambling software preparatory to the donation.
“We have had a long-standing work relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy, and they were our first thought,” Neicu said.
The Tracy clubs are part of the national Boys and Girls Clubs NetSmart program, which teaches Internet safety and keyboard skills.
Robert Pane, director of operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy, said the 39 computers would be a welcome addition to the club’s technology available for children throughout the six club sites.
He said that 80 percent of the children in the Boys & Girls Clubs programs come from low-income households, and many don’t have a computer in the home.