LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Misdemeanor charges were filed against the alleged owners and operators of two suspected underground nightclubs and a suspected underground casino in Hollywood, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced today.
Rami Ben-Moshe, Jason Williams and Khani Rice were charged with 12 counts related to an alleged underground nightclub at 800 N. El Centro Ave., including a noise violation, dispensing alcohol without a license and having live music and a dance hall without a permit, the city attorney's office said. Ben-Moshe and Williams could serve up to five years in jail and pay $10,000 in penalties. Rice faces one year in jail and $2,000 in penalties.
The location was discovered after the Los Angeles Police Department received complaints in August and found a large party with a cover charge, a DJ and alcohol for sale. During the LAPD's response, they arrested multiple people and confiscated firearms.
During another instance in August, the LAPD responded to a report of shots fired at the location during another party, in which witnesses reported about 20 gun shots. One person was shot several times, including in his face, according to the city attorney's office, and a handgun and numerous casings were recovered. The building next door was shot multiple times, leaving bullet holes.
The LAPD was also called to the location twice in early September, and officers broke up two parties. During one of the parties in September, officers also confiscated DJ equipment and recovered two firearms.
“The club on North El Centro is in a residential neighborhood, 350 feet from an elementary school and directly across the street from a behavioral health treatment center,'' said Feuer. “No Angeleno should be forced to contend with a noisy, unlicensed nightclub next door -- especially one that had a shooting and multiple guns found on the property.''
Feuer also announced a charge of illegal use of land against Brandon Chang for allegedly operating a suspected casino at 5547 Santa Monica Blvd. The LAPD discovered the location in August after a person reported being beaten and robbed by another patron there was an underground casino in the two-story commercial building. An informant for the LAPD was sent to the alleged casino and purchased methamphetamine as part of the operation, as well.
The LAPD executed a search warrant and allegedly discovered gambling equipment, ammunition and cannabis, the city attorney's office said. Multiple people were also arrested on outstanding warrants and parole violations.
Chang, who faces six months in jail and $1,000 in penalties, admitted to officers that the location was used as a casino, Feuer's office said.
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