By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The NYPD’s Vice Enforcement Division busted a small gambling operation above the Journelle lingerie store at 3 East 17th Street on August 25 at 10 p.m. After getting a New York County search warrant, police arrested Rafael Lugo, 42, Sergio Valentin, 46, and Jin Feng, 35, for promoting gambling.
Police said that there were at least 15 people sitting at three different poker tables on the second floor of the building, all playing games of Texas Hold ‘Em with poker chips on the tables.
Valentin allegedly told police that he had been running the location for about three months under the business name “Admire Ads” and told them that the rate he charges of $10 per hand is one of the lowest in the city. Police also recovered $2,040 in cash from Valentin’s pocket.
Feng was sitting at one of the tables with at least eight other people and allegedly told police that he was the dealer. According to the criminal complaint from the District Attorney’s office, Feng had been working at the location for about three months, collecting $10 per hand for the house and placing the money he collected in a tray.