Dozens make a bad bet and lose in Winter Haven gambling bust

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - All bets were off when Winter Haven's Special Investigations Unit busted an illegal gambling house on Friday.

After a two-month investigation, police executed a search warrant at 395 Quentin Ave., NW.

When police entered the home, 19 people were quickly arrested, while others tried to run or hide.

According to a release, police found four men inside a bathroom attempting to flush playing cards and ledgers down the toilet.

Winter Have Police said the house contained hundreds of gambling items including playing cards, sets of dice, gaming-type tables and gambling ledgers.

During the search of the home, detectives also found $8418 in cash, seized three vehicles, 335 Ecstasy pills and gambling equipment.

Due to health concerns and the advanced ages of eight suspects, they were given a court date and will appear before a Polk County Judge on the gambling charges.

An anonymous tip started the investigation in February.

Those arrested and charged were:

Barry Estiverne, Cleryoynt Clerjuste, Loumune Eglaus, Kensel Hilliare, Wilner Joseph, Merlin Labissiere, Mackenson Altidor, Darrius Austin, Fritz StFleur, Frantzon Chera, Jean Destima, Sanon Joseph, Inois Alexander, Michael Merilus, Molrere Metullus, Rodriguez Destine, Yvington Norzilus, Yves Pierre, Jean Basse, and Kevin Augustin all from Winter Haven.   Bronsonn Calixte from Auburndale.  Etienne Lission and Emmanuel Laurenceau from Kissimmee.  Ray Morris and Josh Rutledge  from Lakeland.  Anthony Conyers, Henry Ferguson and Donial Fleming from Orlando.

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