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US Attorney battles illegal gambling, drugs

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by Nick Delgado 

Guam - The U.S. Attorney's Office on Guam is focusing its efforts on putting an end to illegal gambling and fighting the war on drugs. But it's proving to be a daunting task as both are on the rise.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office continues to work very aggressively with our federal and local partners, including our law enforcement partners in investigating and prosecuting illegal gambling activities," explained U.S. Attorney for Guam and the CNMI Alicia Limtiaco. She's cracking down on illegal gambling saying more needs to be done to stop it. "There are certain types of gambling or gaming devices on our laws considered illegal, so engaging in these types of activities with the purpose of using these types of illegal devices with the purpose of profiting from them would be considered violations," she said.

Limtiaco confirms that her office is investigating establishments looking to profit from illegal gambling. While she couldn't divulge any specifics about the ongoing cases or places that are being targeted, the U.S. Attorney confirms it's on the rise. "In the gathering of data from all out partners to get a grasp of what's happening on the ground we have been informed and made aware of seeing an increase."

The U.S. Attorney's Office is working in conjunction with Rev & Tax, the Guam Police Department, Homeland Security, and the FBI. In some cases illegal gambling may have ties to the drug problem that exists on the island as well.  Limtiaco says the war on drugs is being fought on a daily basis by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"These task forces are the culmination of local and federal agencies coming together to prosecute and investigate criminal activity associated with drug-trafficking," Limtiaco said.

While they combat the drug trafficking and distribution around the island, Limtiaco says there's also a focus on prevention by reaching out to the island's youth to prevent them from using drugs and getting involved in criminal activity.

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