Agents raid Internet cafes owned by Lake Mary man



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Agents from Florida's Illegal Gaming Task Force served search warrants at Internet cafes in five Florida counties Thursday.

Agents served search warrants at 14 of the centers in Marion, Brevard, Lake, Columbia and Duval counties, investigators said.

According to investigators, agents seized computers, cash, banking records and employee rosters.

"These warrants are a key setup in investigating organizations claiming to be 'Internet cafes' but are actually conducting illegal gaming," said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in a press release.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Internet cafes are owned by Ivan Vega of Lake Mary and Peter Miller of Neptune Beach.

Vega was arrested on a warrant from an earlier investigation in Gadsden County, officials said. Investigators said Vega was charged with keeping a gambling house, manufacture, sale, possession of coin operated devices, lottery, and plays at games of chance.

A neighbor of Vega's called him a family man and told Channel 9's Mario Boone that she was shocked by the charges.

 "I think it's crazy. We wouldn't have expected it, especially them," said neighbor Kristin Nasser.

Investigators said they anticipate more arrests in the case.

"I will tell you right now arrest warrants will be forthcoming once we get through a lot of the evidence that was seized today," said statewide prosecutor Nick Cox at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

"The takeaway from today's actions is that we're simply not going to put up with businesses that continue to defy the laws of this state," said Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson.

Officials said that in addition to the warrants served by the Illegal Gaming Task Force, Lake, Marion and Brevard sheriff's offices, along with the Rockledge, Palm Bay and West Melbourne police offices, served warrants Thursday.

Mario Boone is covering this story and will have more details on Channel 9 Eyewitness News at 4.