Illegal gambling operation discovered in Kakaako

Published: Feb. 26, 2012 at 10:52 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM HST
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KAKAAKO (HawaiiNewsNow) - A complaint about a chemical odor led to the discovery of an illegal gambling room in Kakaako. Emergency crews received a call about hazardous conditions around noon on Sunday. As they tried to pinpoint the source of the problem, authorities uncovered the illegal operation.

Michael De Carlo is the general manager of Door to Door Auto Detailing on Kawaiahao Street. He said he subleased some extra space for $1,500 a month to a man who was going to run a telemarketing and import-export business.

"I'm innocent so please don't be judgmental," said De Carlo.

De Carlo said a wall was built after he handed over the keys a little more than a week ago, but he noticed some suspicious activity.

"Then I saw people going in and out and I was like something is not right. That's not the normal behavior plus it wasn't people dressed appropriate like to work," De Carlo explained.

According to De Carlo, when he stopped by Saturday night to check up on the business he ended up kicking everyone out.

"Once they got out, some guy approached me and started chasing after me and then I called the police and the police just said, 'Hey, get out of here,' and that was that," De Carlo said.

De Carlo said police called him in the morning after someone used pepper spray. There are apartment units above his business. 10 people were evacuated. De Carlo said he wasn't aware of the illegal gambling going on.

"I just hope that I don't have to be accountable for this because I made an honest mistake. I was just doing what I think anybody would do with the economy the way it is today. It's been kind of slow so I figured, hey it offset my rent. It helped me out. I got kids," said De Carlo.

De Carlo has been detailing cars for more than 30 years. He hopes this setback doesn't hurt his business.

A source tells Hawaii News Now that authorities also found drug paraphernalia. Police said no one was arrested.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.