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Aman Pasricha has been charged with promoting gambling

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Authorities in Stone County have shut down an alleged illegal gambling operation at the Phillips 66 convenience store in Crane.

Police chief John Elmore says he witnessed slot machines being moved into the store, which sits across from City Hall and the police department, about a month ago and asked the manager about them.

"He told me you had to buy an Internet card in order to use them and that no paper money would be accepted in the machines.  I contacted the gaming commission and COMET  (Combined Ozarks Multi Jurisdictional Enforcement Team,) who sent in undercover officers.

Elmore says the undercover officers called him and said, "Hi, Chief....we've been gambling in your town."  The undercover cops told Elmore they played the machines and were paid out by the store cashier for their winnings.  They then purchased some lottery tickets with some of the winnings as  additional evidence of being inside the store, said Elmore. 
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"Its not like they (the illegal slot machines) were in a back room or anything...they were right out in the open," said the Chief.  A sign posted above the machines indicated a possible payout of up to $2,500 dollars.
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One of the machines seized in the sting

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Elmore and COMET turned over the evidence they had collected to a judge who issued a search warrant for the business on May 9th.  That warrant was executed at 1:30 p.m. on May 10th.

The manager of the store, Aman Pasricha, 29, has been charged with promoting gambling. 

According to the probable cause statement used as the basis of the charge, undercover officers visited the store on May 3rd and placed cash in the slot machines and a short time later cashed out and took the ticket to the cashier who paid them in cash from the store register.  "Pasricha told us the more we play the better the chances of winning."

"We seized the two machines and the US currency inside of it.  We also located an audit slip dated April 24, 2012, showing that machine #1 had taken in a total of $2198.00 and paid out a total of #1896.00 with a grand total in being $8839.00 and grand total paid out had been $4736.55.  A second audit slip from machine #2 dated April 24, 2012, showed a total of $455.00 in and $415.70 paid and and a grand total of $5270.00 paid in and a grand total of $1311.00 paid out."
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Seized were to two electronic gambling devices, several hundred dollars in U.S. Currency and other items of evidentiary value.

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There was one other person in the store at the time of the raid.  That person was playing one of the illegal machines, according to Elmore.  At this time it is unknown if charges will be pursued against that person.
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Officers with the Stone County Sheriff’s Office and the Crane Police Department assisted COMET officers in the execution of the warrant.

Pasricha is being held on $2,500 bond.

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UPDATED 11-08-2012:

Illegal Gambling Charges Dropped Against Store Manager:

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Aman Pasricha

Stone County prosecutor Matt Selby dismissed charges against a Crane convenience store manager charged with promoting illegal gambling last week.

On May 3rd of this year, Aman Pasricha was charged after undercover officers went to the Phillips 66 station in Crane and placed cash in slot machines inside the business. According to the probable cause statement, Pasricha paid the officers in cash for their winnings from the store's register.

Several days later the store was raided and two slot machines were seized.

Selby says he dismissed the case without prejudice because law enforcers in Stone and Barry County allegedly told Pasricha that they thought the machines were legal.

Because the case was dismissed without prejudice, Selby has the option of re-filing charges against Pasricha at a later date.  " I may revisit this case in the near future," said Selby.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Illegal gambling machines, the Stone County Sherrifs Dept and COMET are absolute friggin idiots, the machines is a "sweepstakes machine" that sells internet time, you friggin morons. it follows the exact same rules and regulations that mcdonalds does there monopoly promotion on, these sweepstakes are played out on what appears to be slot machines, mcdonalds plays out on what appears to be "pulltabs" what is the difference, right, there isn't any. the crane police dept. should start looking into solving and preventing real crimes that have innocent victims, not trying to make a name for themselves and writing tickets at speed traps, etc...

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