The following month, the investigators conducted a similar visit to the Gloucester arcade.
On the afternoon of May 8, the investigators were back in Danvers, where two troopers entered separately, as if to play the games.
One trooper asked the employees how to play the games and “How is this legit?”
An employee told him that it was fine because the games were “games of skill” and the winnings were not paid in cash.
“Does anyone ever win?” the trooper asked. He was told that someone had “recently” won $1,200.
The trooper also spoke to a woman playing one of the games, who said she had won $190. “You’re not going to get rich, but it’s a way to pass the time,” she told the trooper, according to the affidavit.
As Cuevas played a game on one machine, the other trooper returned to the employee and again asked how the games were not considered gambling. The employee said he pays out at least $1,000 a week to players, all in gift cards.
The troopers then headed to Gloucester and used the machines there the same day.
The troopers were allowed to “wager” anywhere from 10 to 250 points per play, the equivalent of 10 cents to $2.50.
The troopers then discussed their findings with Hernandez, who has worked for the FBI for the past decade; prior to that, she worked for the National Indian Gaming Commission and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
The search warrant was issued by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball on the day of the raids.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.