City prosecutors try to get list of players arrested in poker raid, review charges

Maryland

November 08, 2005|BY A SUN REPORTER

City prosecutors scrambled yesterday to get their hands on a list of 80 poker players charged with illegal gambling after a recent police raid at a South Baltimore club, and continued to review the charges in an effort to determine whether they are legally sufficient.

Officials with the city state's attorney's office questioned police officers' use of citations to issue criminal charges at the Owl's Nest club in the 1800 block of Worcester St., but confirmed yesterday that police had acted properly.

Prosecutors said their focus has shifted to the actual charges and whether they would stand up in court. Spokeswoman Margaret T. Burns said prosecutors were unfamiliar with the section of law cited - police have not used it in recent years - and that they would need time to review the law.

Police Sgt. Craig Gentile, a vice detective who organized the raid, said he was confident he had applied the law correctly. The 80 players were cited under a section of law that prohibits the use of a location for gambling.

Gentile said that even if the state's attorney's office throws out the charges, he could still go after the poker players for other gambling infractions.

Burns said she expected to have a list of the names of those cited at the gambling club by the end of the day today. Police had declined to release the names while they investigated the poker club.

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