States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|June 30, 2010|
MILFORD MAN SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS IN PRISON FOR HEADING ILLEGAL GAMBLING OPERATION, GUN POSSESSION
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RAUL SUNER, also known as “Sonny,” 49, of Milford, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to 108 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for using violence and threats of violence while conducting an illegal gambling operation, and for possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony offense.
According to court documents and statements made in court, SUNER and Phillip John Bauco of Bridgeport operated an illegal sports betting operation that utilized the internet to access an offshore betting service in order to facilitate the bets and payoffs. The Government alleges that SUNER was the leader of this operation, which was part of an effort to control and consolidate illegal sports betting and other gambling activities in southern Connecticut. SUNER used violence, threats and intimidation in an effort to achieve this goal, and suggested to his victims that he was associated with organized crime. On one occasion, SUNER injured a bookmaker by repeatedly striking him with a baseball bat when the bookmaker could not satisfy a debt. On another occasion, SUNER threatened the same bookmaker with a knife and wiped blood on the bookmaker’s jacket.
Law enforcement officers subsequently obtained a DNA match linking SUNER to the knife incident.
SUNER and Bauco used Bauco’s business, Auto Town Sales in Stratford, to hold meetings related to the criminal enterprise, and to collect debts from other bookmakers and gamblers.
On March 2, 2010, SUNER pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy. Also, on October 8, 2008, SUNER pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon stemming from his possession of a 9mm semi-automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number in March 2008.
SUNER has been incarcerated since his arrest by federal officials on March 6, 2008.
On January 28, 2010, Bauco pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy. On June 3, he was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment and was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $5000.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police and the Milford Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ray Miller.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods