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Nine arrested, seven charged in Hilo gambling raid

Police arrested nine people Thursday afternoon in a gambling raid at a downtown Hilo game room.

At 12:50 p.m., officers and detectives from the Area I Vice and Criminal Investigations Sections and Hilo Community Policing served a search warrant at Triple 7 Amusement at the corner of Kamehameha Avenue and Haili Street, the previous site of Kapohokine Adventures.

Seven individuals, all Hilo residents were charged with misdemeanor gambling, released on their own recognizance and given court dates of Sept. 12. They are: 46-year-old Shayne Kualii; 58-year-old Rose Majamay; 50-year-old Martha Keohuloa; 71-year-old Ronald Veriato; 83-year-old Tomas Guerrero; 68-year-old Glenn DePonte; and 46-year-old Rachelle Benevides.

Also arrested were 50-year-old Stacey Yamada and 68-year-old Carol Luciano, both of Hilo, on suspicion of first-degree promotion of gambling, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, and possession of gambling devices, a misdemeanor.

Both were released pending further investigation.

Police said 16 gambling devices were confiscated from the establishment as were other electronic equipment and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Triple 7 was raided at least twice before when it was located at 500 Manono Street.

The first bust occurred on July 20, 2012 when it was known as as 777 Arcade. Owner Lance Yamada, then 50, was arrested at that time on suspicion of promoting gambling. He was not charged, according to court records.

The second was on March 1, 2016. No arrests were made, but a police log indicates a possible forfeiture action might have been initiated.

A search of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs shows Triple 7 is owned by LY20 LLC, a limited liability company incorporated in 1999 with members listed as Lance Yamada, Stacey Yamada, Richard Yamada, Roy Horihata and Laura Fujimoto.

Hilo attorney Brian De Lima filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of 20 LLC and Lance Yamada on Nov. 3, 2016, in Hilo Circuit Court seeking an injunction in an effort to stave off potential search and seizures. The suit named as defendants Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth and former Hawaii Police Chief Harry Kubojiri.

Court records indicate no hearings were held on that suit and no settlement documents were entered. Records state the case was terminated on Jan. 6.

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