Police find illegal slot machines in local club, 3 arrested

BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island State Police have made 3 arrests, after discovering what they call a lucrative illegal gambling operation out of the Bristol Sports Club.

The arrests come after a two-month investigation, which was initiated by the Bristol Police Department. The State Police Intelligence Unit then joined the investigation, finding that two of the suspects were operating multiple illegal slot machines at the Wood Street club. Those suspects were identified as Bristol residents Antonio DeMatos, 76, and Norberto Pacheco, 71. Investigators say the third suspect, Kevin Connolly, 55, of Canton, Massachusetts traveled to Bristol each Wednesday to dispense the cash from the machines.

Police raided the club early Wednesday morning, shortly after Connolly arrived, and seized approximately $11,000 in cash.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Winquist said the operation was bringing in up to $40,000 a month, and that the club didn’t do much to try and hide it.

“Near the doorway that led up to the second floor where the gambling machines were located were directions on how to play the games,” Winquist said, “So I don’t think it was a secret to anyone who frequented the club.”

All three suspects were arraigned in Providence District Court.   Pacheco and DeMatos were released on $10,000 personal recognizance.   Connolly was released on $2,500 surety bail.

Police said more arrests are possible.



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