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Queens Chronicle

Gambling busts lead to guns, drugs: DA

Brown says expanded raids at 12 sites recover loaded weapons, pills and cash

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Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:52 am, Thu Oct 10, 2013.

The Queens District Attorney said last week that an investigation into an alleged family-run gambling ring has led to the seizure of guns and drugs.

In a statement with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly issued by his office on Sept. 24, DA Richard Brown said police also recovered six guns, drugs and more than $120,000 in cash as the result of related search warrants.

Brown said police executed 12 search warrants last week, including one at the home of Saul Montalvo in Ozone Park.

Evidence allegedly recovered included:

• 120 Percocet pills, 75 Oxycontin pills, 35 Hydrocodone pills and betting slips from a kitchen cabinet;

• a 9-mm Taurus pistol with a high-capacity magazine containing 16 bullets;

• a loaded .45-caliber Taurus pistol reported stolen last year in Pennsylvania;

• a loaded .45-caliber Ruger pistol;

• a loaded 12-guage Mossberg shotgun;

• a loaded Smith & Wesson MP-15 assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine;

• three other high-capacity magazines containing more than 10 bullets; and more than $90,000 from a safe in a bedroom.

A search of his son, Daniel Montalvo of Corona, allegedly turned up an additional MP-15 and four high-capacity magazines, including two loaded with 20 rounds apiece.

Those charged aside from Saul and Daniel Montalvo include Saul Montalvo’s sister, Veronica Montalvo, 40, of 97th Avenue in Ozone Park; Juan Arias, 41, of Strong Street in the Bronx; Benny Maldonado, 60, of Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood; and Rosa Rincon, 56, of 95th Avenue in Woodhaven.

The complaint alleges that the group ran out of rooms in Woodhaven and Brooklyn, and took bets from more that 30 betting parlors in Queens, Brooklyn and Nassau County.

Brown praised the NYPD for netting the weapons and drugs as well as shutting down the gambling operation.

“The nexus between illegal drugs and violence is never far,” Kelly said. “It is thanks to New York City detectives and their partners in the Queens District Attorney’s Office that five loaded guns including an assault weapon are out of circulation, along with illegally obtained prescription drugs.”

Brown’s office said they were arraigned on an indictment charging them variously with enterprise corruption; first-degree promoting gambling and first-degree possession of gambling records. Each faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Brown said in addition that Saul Montalvo and his wife, Beatriz Velez, 33, have been charged variously in separate complaints with third-, fifth- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance; second-, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon; criminal possession of a firearm; fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property; first-degree promoting gambling; and first-degree possession of gambling records.

Daniel Montalvo also has been charged with second-, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

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