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Internet cafe business facing gambling charges

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An Internet cafe business raided in January was charged in 3rd District Court with multiple gambling charges Monday.

An Internet cafe business raided in January was charged in 3rd District Court with multiple gambling charges Monday.

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MIDVALE — An Internet cafe business raided in January now faces multiple gambling charges.

Mouse Pad Business Center was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with unlawful activity, a second-degree felony; three counts of gambling promotion, a class B misdemeanor; and three counts of possession of a gambling device/record, also a class B misdemeanor.

The business, which had three locations, was advertised as a computer and cellphone retailer and repair shop.

Police said during the course of their investigation "no customers have been seen purchasing merchandise or requesting cellphone or computer repair."

Undercover officers observed customers using phone cards to wager money and play games on gaming consoles in the store and tried it themselves as part of their investigation, according to court documents.

Police raided the businesses and took about 150 gaming consoles in January.

The investigation began after the Midvale Precinct Directed Enforcement Unit received complaints about alleged illegal activity at the Midvale Mouse Pad, police said.

"Basically it attracted clientele that engaged in criminal activity," Unified Police Lt. Lex Bell told the Deseret News in January. "We had seen a significant increase in drug arrests, stolen vehicles and just other property crimes occurring right in the immediate vicinity of these operations."

The initial hearing for the case is scheduled for April 28.

— Emily Larson