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Washington Heights Beauty Salon Doubles as Gambling Den, City Says

By Gustavo Solis | October 26, 2017 2:37pm
 Police and the City of New York say this beauty salon ran an illegal gambling operation from their basement. The city wants the shut the salon down.
Police and the City of New York say this beauty salon ran an illegal gambling operation from their basement. The city wants the shut the salon down.
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DNAinfo/Gustavo Solis

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The city wants to shut down an uptown mani/pedi shop nailed by undercover officers whose investigation uncovered an illegal gambling shop operating behind the scenes.

The unvarnished truth behind J's Glam Beauty Center, located at 4193 Broadway near West 177th Street, was discovered this summer when one of the officers asked about a "Dominican lottery," according to court documents filed by a city attorney Tuesday.

The manicurist placed a $10 bet on behalf of the undercover officer on June 15 and a man named Juan Diaz gave the officer a receipt. During follow up visits on June 21 and July 1, the officer placed bets directly with Diaz, according to the officer’s affidavit.

A second undercover officer visited the store on June 21 and paid $60 for a massage from a man named Felix Santos. The officer, who tipped $20, said Santos did not have a license to work as a masseuse according to his affidavit.

On July 1, after one officer placed an illegal bet and another officer got another $60 massage, officers raided the store. They seized $942 in cash, computers, betting slips, and other equipment, according to an invoice from the 34th Precinct, which was also submitted in court as evidence.

Police arrested Diaz and Santos during the July raid.  

An employee at J’s Glam Beauty Center, said Santos does have a license. He still works at the salon and court records show his case for the July arrest was adjourned in August.

The store’s owner was not immediately available for an interview.

Because the city believes the business may still be operating as an illegal gambling operation, they are asking the court to issue an injunction to shut the business down for at least a year.

The city also want to fine the owners of the property, named simply as John and Jane Doe in court documents, $1,000 for every day the business ran as an illegal gambling ring and unlicensed massage parlor, records show.