DA Summer Stephan: San Diego gambling den operator Long Ngoc Tran sentenced to six years in prison

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A San Diego man who operated at least nine illegal gambling dens in and around the City Heights neighborhood was sentenced this week to six years in federal prison.

Long Ngoc Tran, 42, pleaded guilty to federal charges for his role in running gambling operations that prosecutors allege attracted violent criminal activity, including homicides, robberies, shootings, stabbings, assaults and drug sales.

The gambling dens, which were typically stocked with electronic gambling machines, were the source of a law enforcement crackdown that led to numerous arrests and the seizures of hundreds of gambling machines, drugs, firearms, and cash.

In 2021, a grand jury returned indictments against 47 defendants, including Tran, who prosecutors say operated gambling dens on Oakcrest Drive, El Cajon Boulevard, 47th Street, Menlo Avenue, 48th Street, University Avenue and 43rd Street.

According to prosecutors, Tran was previously arrested in 2015 following a law enforcement investigation into local gambling dens. He was arrested at his San Diego home, where police found drugs, cash and six slot machines.

Tran told investigators that the machines were part of his gambling business, which he operated out of his home. He was sentenced to two years in state prison, but was back to running gambling businesses soon after his release, prosecutors say.

A subsequent law enforcement operation dubbed “Marble Lion” examined criminal activity occurring in and around 36 illegal gambling parlors in San Diego.

According to a prosecution sentencing memorandum, Tran was “the most prolific gambling den operator uncovered by the investigation.”

Tran was sentenced on Monday to the six-year prison term. Most of the other defendants have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced.

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan discussed the illegal gambling den on KUSI’s Good Morning San Diego.

Categories: California News, Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News, Politics