Big crimes in the little Town of Havana – An Illegal internet establishment was shut down after a recent murder upset the community.

An internet cafe in Havana was raided and shut down last week.

Seventy suspected illegal gambling devices, computers, an ATM, and cash were seized from Rio Arcade, located at 6766 Florida Georgia Hwy. in the old L&J lounge. 

Criminal charges may also be pending.

In March of 2013 a law was passed making internet cafés in Florida illegal. Law enforcement conducted huge sweeps all over the state shutting down the cafés and confiscating evidence. 

Internet cafés are illegal, because they are unlicensed and offer slot machine gaming, which is against the law in Florida. None are legal in Gadsden County.

In Florida, slot machines are heavily regulated by the gaming commission and are legal in only the eight facilities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and at certain Indian tribal facilities.

This raid comes just weeks after a robbery turned deadly at another adult arcade, located just 400 feet from the Rio Arcade.

Lewis Butler, an onsite security guard, was shot and killed at Evan’s Quality Grocery Meats and Deli (6688 Florida Georgia Hwy).

A clerk working inside the establishment sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the robbery and was transported to a nearby hospital.

The two apprehended suspects, Kelvin Brown, and Ty’Rone Washington were arrested in connection to the robbery. Murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, and attempt of robbery, are among several charges brought against them.

While it is no secret the illegal gambling facilities are booming with business in the small town of Havana, locals are scrambling for answers.

They want to know how law enforcement is going to rid Havana from the crime invasion that has taken over.

Many Havana residents have voiced their concerns over the influx of internet cafes in  Havana.

Rio Arcade was housed right next door to a child care center.

Allegedly, there are at least seven more illegal internet café locations that are openly known to the public and being disguised behind fraudulent store fronts.

Some questions were answered loud and clear to the community on Friday, December 8 when the Florida Gaming Commission served a warrant at the Rio Arcade located at 6766 Florida Georgia Hwy, Havana. Authorities permanently shut down the internet café. A Rio Arcade, which once hung on the wall covering the L&J sign, has since been removed.

Some local sources described the next day’s atmosphere on Saturday, December 9 as mostly quiet at the other internet café  locations and strangely appeared to be closed with no sign of life.

Two of the illegal gambling establishments located on 27 near Scotland Road had lights on but were closed.

 Patricia Smith


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