Operation Bishop investigators executed three search warrants on South Padre Island last Thursday at an alleged illegal-gambling establishment, a local business and a private residence all in connection with the Laguna Madre Scholarship Foundation.
The sweepstakes establishment, located at 2600 Padre Blvd, Suite MN, is operated by the Laguna Madre Scholarship Foundation (LMSF). It had previously been raided, and its equipment seized, by Operation Bishop. It again reopened. Additionally, a LMSF operated a gambling establishment in Harlingen was raided in June. A search warrant was also executed at an adjacent business, Coastal Security and Investigations International, in connection with the LMSF. A third search warrant was executed at the South Padre Island residence of the Foundations manager, Joanna Quintana.
Documents and equipment were seized in connection with an ongoing investigation of the Foundation’s operation of alleged illegal-gambling establishments. According to state law and the Attorney General, eight-liner and sweepstakes businesses that give more cash prizes of $5 or more, even if some or all proceeds benefit a non-profit/charity, are deemed an illegal-gambling operation. It is estimated that the eight-liner/sweepstakes industry generates at least $300 million annually. Operation Bishop began in April 2013. Agencies that participated in the raid were: Cameron County District Attorney’s Office: Cameron County Office of Emergency