A Texas high school coach finds himself in an unwanted spotlight as an investigation into a widespread gambling and money laundering operation spread to a house he owns.
As reported by the Laredo Morning Times, Alexander (Texas) High football coach Joel Lopez had a house he owns raided in connection with an illegal gambling and money laundering investigation, with allegations that the house was home to a “manquita”, or illegal gambling operation.
A woman named Rebecca Lopez-Villarreal was arrested and charged with keeping a gambling place, gambling promotion and engaging in organized criminal activity in connection with the investigation. It remains publicly unknown what relation Lopez-Villarreal has to the coach, if any.
While there is no immediate indication that Lopez — the 2017 Morning Times All-City co-Coach of the Year — had any involvement in the manquita operation, the (Laredo) United Independent School District still released a statement about the investigation that included the property which is owned by the coach.
“We do not have the facts related to the law enforcement visit or the details. As soon as the facts are received by the school district, the district will take whatever action is necessary,” said David Garcia, assistant superintendent for human resources at UISD.
The investigation continues, as does a microscope on Lopez. Three have been arrested in the manquita operation thus far, and more charges and discipline may still be forthcoming.