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HPD officer among 5 arrested in crackdown of Chinatown gambling sites

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the new arrests on Friday, saying the officer and others were arrested the day before at a gambling parlor at 10804 Bellaire Boulevard. She said the parlor was operating at Café Than Quynh.

She also identified the officer as Thomas Lam, saying he acted as bouncer at the parlor, granting access to players and himself playing at times.

“He’s a prolific gambler, and he gambled his career away,” she said.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Lam, 42,  has been on the force since 2007.

“He’s not going to be serving much longer,” the chief said. “I think he’s a disgrace to the badge.”

The operation has netted 41 arrests, including those of Lam and two other police officers. Authorities have seized $2.4 million in cash throughout the multi-year undertaking.

The latest bust resulted in $21,000 seized from the establishment, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Ogg said the cafe operated with hidden rooms housing gambling machines, often frequented by members of the Kai Bang gang. There’s no evidence to support that Lam or anyone else who was arrested Thursday were gang members.

Lam faces two misdemeanor charges related to operating an illegal game room. Four others face felony charges of money laundering. Those include the owner of the facility, a manager and other game-room workers, named as follows: Vu The Vo, James Wang, Thy Nguyen and Andy Vo.

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