200 Computers Seized in Illegal Gambling Operation Repurposed to Help Brevard Students
By Space Coast Daily // July 22, 2020
Computers Advancing Education Inc. refurbished most of the 200 computers
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – A 2016 investigation into an illegal gambling operation that resulted in the seizure of more than 200 computers is now being turned into a resource to help students throughout Brevard County and around the State.
Once the criminal prosecution was completed, the Cocoa Police Department donated the seized computers to a local non-profit, whose mission is to repurpose computers for use by students in local area schools.
Computers Advancing Education Inc. and its team of volunteers refurbished most of the 200 computers and has since donated them back to the community.
Fremont “Freebie” Bassett, the founder of the non-profit, said the sole purpose is to help students, young and old, who need a computer to have one at no cost.
Since its inception in 1997, Bassett says his non-profit has supplied refurbished computers to more than 9000 students.
In September 2016, agents with the Cocoa Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit, with assistance from the Rockledge Police Department and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant at two local businesses.
Paradise Arcade, owned by Yas Max Inc., operated out of three units in the plaza in the 1500 block of N. Cocoa Boulevard. The businesses occupied suites in 1503, 1505 and 1507.
According to a months-long investigation, the businesses were used as a place for illegal gambling.
At the time, agents received information from an anonymous source alleging there was an illegal gambling operation at the location. After several weeks of undercover operations, agents developed enough probable cause for a search warrant.
The investigation revealed that approximately 200 computers inside the three suites were being used as a portal for online gaming.
The computers were seized along with cash, ledgers and other assets believed to have been used to support and facilitate the illegal business.
To learn more about the non-profit, Computers Advancing Education, please visit the organization’s website at www.computersadvancingeducation.org
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