Ex Willacy Co. DA: Town of Combes run like Al Capone's racketeering days

Buena suerte means good luck in Spanish.

But two arcades under that name in Willacy and Cameron counties haven't had any luck at all.

"You cannot pick and choose which business you want to shut down... That's like Al Capone... What we have here is Combes being like Al Capone," Juan Guerra, attorney said.

Guerra is accusing the Town of Combes of racketeering.

He says the town used selective enforcement to shut down the Buena Suerte game room off Business 77, while leaving other 8-liner operations untouched.

"If they're 8-liners... Shut them all down...Or leave us alone," Guerra said.

The police department seized 120 gambling devices and more than $13,000 in cash from Buena Suerte in December, according to Guerra.

Buena Suerte Social Services, which operates the 8-liner under the premise of giving a portion of proceeds to the underprivileged, refuses to pay the $300 needed per 8-liner machine to get them back.

"We're saying the City of Combes is racketeering because it's allowing certain businesses to open and not another... The problem is... That Armando Villalobos' office got involved... Protecting the City of Combes," Guerra said.

Town leaders couldn't be reached for comment over the holiday.

But Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos is responding to accusations from Guerra by saying in a statement: "Mr. Guerra is wasting his time suing us, it doesn't change his admitted involvement in illegal gambling and more importantly, our office recused itself from the case due to his political aspirations against me.

An attorney pro-Tem has been assigned to the case, so neither I nor my office have any decision making ability on the matter."

Buena Suerte's CEO Trinidad Salinas feels the corporation is caught in the middle of a political feud.

"The people we've been helping... We can't help them...Because there's no money coming in," he explained.

The raid in Combes caused Buena Suerte to close shop near Lyford in Willacy County where the business now faces eviction.

It's a string of bad luck for a business gambling off a so-called lucky name.

The trial against Buena Suerte goes before the 357th Court on September 4th, 2012 at 8:30am.

The law office of Ruben Pena has been appointed to take over the State TMs case against the 8-liner.

Juan Guerra is running against Armando Villalobos for Congress in the District #34 race.

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