|The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit detained Justin Franciscotty along with wife Ana and sister-in-law Stephanie Useltonon Tuesday in the town of Magnolia and have charged all three with money laundering, a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison along with a fine of $10,000.|
David Womack, a Sergeant with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit, stated that Franciscotty’s only means of income was an online gambling operation based in Costa Rica. While not willing to divulge the source that had launched the investigation, Womack said that Federal authorities had been involved and provided crucial information.
“The investigation revealed this residence was receiving large amounts of money through the postal service,” said Womack said.
“Once inside the residence, we found several packages from other parts of the United States, which at one point had several thousands of dollars inside.”
Womack stated that one room in Franciscotty’s home featured multiple televisions connected to a satellite service, which he theorised was for watching several sporting events as part of an alleged bookmaking operation. He stated that Franciscotty provided a service for those wishing to illegally bet on all types of sporting events including ball games to horse racing.
“The domain name and set-up was based in Costa Rica,” said Womack.
“It’s like an offshore gambling operation but you can’t operate offshore from the US.“
Police seized three computers in the suburban Houston raid, which they hope will yield additional answers about the alleged bookmaking operation. In addition, police revealed that more charges are pending against the three along with other residents not at home when the raid was carried out.