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Illegal horse race busted up over weekend

An illegal horse race was busted up over the weekend in Picacho Peak, Ariz. south of Eloy, Ariz.

Mark Brnovich with the Arizona Department of Gaming said agents raided an unlicense horse race and apprehended five men suspected of running the operation.

“This was an undeveloped area out in the desert and what was happening was people would meet out there and they had a makeshift race track built — with an actual starting gate,” he said. “Folks would go out there. Sometimes hundreds of people.”

Brnovich said criminal charges are still pending.

“This weekend was the first phase of the criminal investigation,” he said. “We executed search warrants, money was seized, individuals were questioned.”

The five people who were apprehended are the focus of an illegal gambling investigation. The criminal investigation has been turned over to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

The animals were returned to their owners.