STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) - Sterling Heights police seized a windfall of cash from an alleged gambling ring.
In addition to 10 slot machines, 167 grams of marijuana, police say the seizure included $35,000 in cash at Candles Restaurant on 15 Mile Road. Sixty-seven patrons received an ordinance violation ticket for illegal gambling.
Candles is a Middle Eastern restaurant with several Caldean regulars, with many senior citizens. Patrons say as the raid unfolded, all the men inside were searched, all the money in their pockets taken by police. Many of the patrons believe their cash was taken unfairly.
"We are over here, playing dominoes, playing cards for fun." said regular Mike Kattoula, who was ticketed during the raid, "And not for gambling."
"One by one, they searched us, pulled out our money, took it away from us, we couldn't do nothing." said patron Basil Balou.
The restaurant remains open after the raid. The patrons maintain there was never any cash on the tables at the time of the raid. Sterling Heights police remember it differently.
In addition to 67 ticketed, four men were arrested during the raid.