STOCKTON (CBS13) — Prostitution, drug dealing, and illegal gambling were all taking place near a charter school in downtown, according to Stockton Police.
Undercover officers shut down the operation and arrested the business owner. Code enforcement officers cited the property with building code violations.
Erica Herechski, 36, was escorted out of her office in downtown Stockton, handcuffed and arrested for running an illegal gambling operation. The business was on the same block where a charter school is located.
“That’s a problem, and crime does occur here. Sometimes, robberies occur, and that is what we’re trying to prevent here in downtown Stockton,” said police spokesman Joe Silva.
Herechski opened the internet café a few months ago. Investigators say this is her fourth time being in police custody facing charges for drugs and having gambling facilities.
“She has been known to our officers as setting up these establishments, which are illegal in different parts of the city. So, she moves from one location to another location,” said Silva.
Code enforcement officers posted ‘notice of violation’ signs on the building. It’s asking owners to make improvements to sheetrock and electrical panels to a place; neighbors say they didn’t even know existed until now.
“I’m surprised. I have seen a few people standing here, but I didn’t know what it was,” said neighbor, James Brown.
No loitering signs are posted near the building, but neighbors say that didn’t stop the Internet cafe’s unwelcome clientele from disrupting the neighborhood.
“One person said that there were prostitutes that were hooking up in there, maybe,” said neighbor, Jennie Nava.
During the raid, 16 computers were seized including cash and drugs. Investigators say the community being vigilant and reporting illegal activity is what helped bring the business down.
“I’m glad it’s down,” said Nava.
Neighbors say the establishment was open only after the school closed for the day. Records from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office shows the business owner has already been released from custody.