Pharr police arrest 5 in gambling case

Police in Pharr have arrested a group of people and still seek one more in connection with an illegal gambling operation within the city, according to a news release from the department.

Jorge Antonio Quintero, 56, of Brownsville, Francisco Sanchez, 42, of Hidalgo, Armando Garcia Gonzalez, 39, Frank Martinez, 31, of Donna, and Crystal Lee Mendiola, 34, of Harlingen, were arrested by Pharr police in connection with multiple charges. These include engaging in organized criminal activity, gambling promotion, keeping a gambling place, and possession of a gambling device, to name a few.

Martinez, Garcia, Sanchez and Mendiola were arrested and jailed June 19, records show.

Sanchez and Martinez were released June 21 on a $45,000 bond each, while Mendiola was released on a $98,000 bond. Garcia remains in county jail on a $50,000 bond.

Quintero, who was arrested Monday, was released Tuesday on a $45,000 bond.

The investigation into the group began June 18, after police executed a warrant at a residence in the 100 block of West Juan Balli Road and found what appeared to be an illegal gambling operation, the release read.

Police said they want to speak with Claudio Ruben Ramirez, 39, of Hidalgo, in connection with the investigation.

If convicted of engaging in organized criminal activity, a third degree felony, those charged could receive between two and 10 years in state jail.

Anyone with information regarding Ramirez is asked to contact Pharr Crime Stoppers at (956) 787-8477.