Capitol Hill Card Room Case Draws to a Close

SPD’s lengthy investigation into several underground casinos in Seattle is finally coming to a close.

One year ago today, Marshall Reinsch approached a bald, broad-shouldered man outside of Joey’s Restaurant in South Lake Union and hugged him close. The two men weren’t old friends.

Reinsch and the large man had come to Joey’s to work out a sizable drug deal and, court records says, Reinsch’s embrace was actually an attempt to search the other man—who turned out to be an undercover Seattle Police Department vice detective—for wires and weapons.

The three-year investigation into underground card rooms—the Cafe Unamerican on Capitol Hill and Cafe Corsair in Belltown—led police to Reinsch, an unemployed drug dealer who frequented the two speakeasies; as well as the man behind the casinos, Rick Wilson; and Reinsch’s Honduran drug suppliers.

On June 10th, three months after the initial meeting at Joey’s, police arrested Reinsch, Wilson, and three Honduran Men—Carlos Zavala-Bustillo, Cesar Canterero-Arteaga, and Edwan Fletes—who were in the midst of a $217,000 drug deal.

Now, a year after the first meeting in South Lake Union, Reinsch, Wilson, Feletes, Anterero-Artega, and Zavala-Bustillo have all pleaded guilty or been sentenced in connection with drug deal.

Canterero-Arteaga and Fletes received five year sentences. Reinsch, the liaison between the three Honduran drug dealers and the undercover detective, received a 42 month sentence.

Zavala-Bustillo and Wilson pleaded guilty last month and are scheduled to be sentenced in May.

The undercover detective who worked the case was honored at last year’s police awards banquet.

Prosecutors have not filed charges against any of the other men and women associated with running the two card rooms. We’ve heard from several sources that it’s unlikely that prosecutors will be filing any gambling charges.