Police raid restaurant for alleged gamblers

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 28, 2013

Police say they recently moved to snuff out an illegal gambling setup at a Sterling Heights restaurant.

The reported bust, which police say happened late at night June 13, targeted Candles Restaurant, 5738 15 Mile Road.

Reports of gambling and alcohol prompted police to keep the business under close watch for the past four months, according to Sterling Heights Police Lt. Luke Riley. While Riley declined to go into detail on what that investigation involved, he praised the Special Response Team and police officers for their work.

He said police arrested people accused of unlawful gambling, as well as someone accused of intending to deliver marijuana.

“It’s a nuisance to the businesses that are also in that plaza,” Riley said.

When police executed their search warrant, uniformed and plainclothes officers witnessed people allegedly playing slot machines and cards inside the restaurant, police said. More than 70 people were reportedly inside the venue at the time, and police said they processed the crowd.

Officers reportedly handed out 67 disorderly person ordinance violations for “frequenting a place of illegal occupation.” The cited people were released on site.

Officers also made a few arrests. They arrested a Sterling Heights resident and a Warren resident on suspicion of operating a gambling establishment.

Another Sterling Heights resident was arrested for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to deliver. Lastly, police reportedly arrested a suspect for an Oakland County-based warrant linked to gambling paraphernalia. Riley said none of the suspects resisted arrest.

Police said they took custody of 10 slot machines, 167 grams of cannabis, records and $35,000 in cash. Officers are continuing to investigate the matter.

Riley said that, to his knowledge, the Candles restaurant is still in operation. A representative for the restaurant could not be reached for comment.

Anyone who has more information about this incident should call the Sterling Heights Police Department at (586) 446-2800.