Stanislaus County officers search for probationer, find illegal gambling hall

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STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) -- Inside an unremarkable, boarded-up home, Stanislaus County probation officers say they found an illegal gambling hall.

“Never know what we’re gonna come across. We always try and prepare our staff for anything,” Division Director Emily Herrera-Hammond told FOX40.

Officers discovered more than 100 gambling machines and confiscated three guns Sunday at the Tully Road home. They were there searching for an out-of-compliance probationer, Nathan Souza.

“The team decided to try and make contact with him because his GPS was pinging, meaning showing that he was there at the time,” Herrera-Hammond said.

As officers approached, one person tried to run and the people inside ignored the officers that were outside.

“Nobody is answering the door. They're refusing to come to the door. Multiple commands were given for our offender, Nathan Souza, to come out,” Herrera-Hammond said.

Officers said when they made their way inside the home, they found Souza along with 28 other people at the illegal gambling hall.

It was quite the eye-opener for them but for Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputies, it was evidence.

“The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department had been investigating this residence for quite some time and were actually planning a search warrant execution at the residence,” said Sgt. Joshua Clayton.

Families who live nearby say several churches used to rent the space but that all changed when a woman moved into the home. Neighbors say she claimed she was running a vending machine repair shop.

A neighbor told FOX40 that ever since the renter moved in four months ago, it’s been non-stop partying and noise.

Sgt. Clayton says it’s an ongoing investigation and deputies will continue to follow up on potential leads.

Officers arrested four people on unrelated charges.

“The folks that were actually arrested, those were for felony warrants,” said Herrera-Hammond.

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