Gwinnett County

Police bust video rental store accused of running illegal gambling operation

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police busted a Gwinnett County video store they said was not used for movie rentals, but rather an illegal gambling operation.

Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas obtained a copy of police body camera footage of officers rushing into the VHS store on Hurricane Shoals Road.

Investigators said they had been watching the place since January and saw lots of customers come and go. But no one ever seemed to leave with a VHS tape or even a DVD.

Inside were a couple of couches and walls lined with shelving and tapes they believe hadn’t been moved in years.

"What one detective described to me was probably the most recent movie in there that was available to rent was an action movie from 2007," Lt. Jake Parker told Thomas.


Police arrested the owner, Boonlert Boonsawang, who is accused of taking bets on whatever sport was in season. Police searched both the store and the owner's home, seizing computers and other items.

Thomas stopped by Boonsawang's home on Bentbrooke Trail. There were cars in the driveway and dogs barking inside, but no one answered the door.

Boonsawang is out on bond, but the store is closed.

"Detectives are still looking into the finances of what kind of games and how much profit that the organizer was making," Parker said.

Police say they pegged the store as a gambling front several years ago. But the department could never get anyone in undercover to collect evidence until earlier this month.

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