by: Mark Winne Updated:
FOREST PARK, Ga. - A Clayton County SWAT team raided several businesses Friday that were running an illegal gambling business.
As officers descended on the business, they hauled out heavy equipment, using a circular saw to cut their way through a locked door at the Mi Casa store on Old Dixie Highway.
"We believe that the door was locked to prevent law enforcement from coming inside," Clayton County Police Chief Greg Porter said.
A police major told Winne the Mi Casa was being used as a front for
"It's against the law for them to pay out in cash and they paid our officers in cash," Maj. Alan Holloway of the Clayton County Police Department said.
Holloway said Junaid Hhan was the key figure arrested for commercial gambling in an investigation also involving Forest Park police and the district attorney.
"Were you involved with commercial gambling?" Winne asked Khan as police took him away in handcuffs.
"No sir," Khan answered.
"Were your machines paying out in cash? Employees paying out in cash?" Winne asked.
"No. I don't know. I don't have any locations in Clayton County," Khan said.
Khan told Winne Mi Casa isn't his
Clayton County D.A. Tracy Graham Lawson said the government will seek to try to take Khan's house in Fayetteville though they're not kicking his large family out immediately.
She said the house has "been paid for through illegal profits from an illegal business."
Shortly after the SWAT entry at Mi Casa, two small children brought there, an official said, by a babysitter, were handed out to SWAT operators.
"Did it break your heart to see those kids handed out?" Winne asked Porter.
"It concerned me as a police chief, but more specifically as a parent," Porter answered.
A woman who said she worked at Mi Casa suggested there was not gambling, that if someone won, she paid off in merchandise, never cash.
She suggested the doors were locked because she'd been robbed twice.
But documents said an undercover officer was able to gamble over 20 times with 15 recorded cash payouts.
Holloway said the undercover officer was at first refused entry through the locked door because he wasn't known to those inside.