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Monday, May 2, 2016

Prosecutor drops charges in Legion case

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Charges were dropped this week against a Greencastle man who was arrested at the American Legion last week on suspicion of illegal gambling.

Glen Hollis was released from the Putnam County Jail on his own recognizance and will not be charged for organizing Texas Hold'Em tournaments at the legion post on Indianapolis Road, Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter said Wednesday.

"After the Excise Police arrested the legion member, my office has conducted its own investigation into the allegations," Bookwalter said. "In my opinion, this case lacks prosecutorial merit."

About a month ago, officers from the Indiana Excise Police and Indiana Gaming Commission received complaints from people who had attended these tournaments, claiming that there was illegal gambling taking place.

Bookwalter said this week that his investigation found that people simply paid money into a kitty and prizes were awarded at the end of the game.

"The individual arrested did not personally gain from the poker game, nor was there gambling happening on each hand," Bookwalter explained. "These veterans put money into a kitty and gave out prizes at the end of the game. I don't believe this is what the legislature intended when it created the crime of 'professional gambling'."

Bookwalter said he consulted with a professor at the I.U. School of Law before making his decision.

More than 30 other people were implicated for playing the game, according to Excise Officer Jerrod Baugh who took part in Hollis' arrest last week. However, the prosecutor says he will not seek charges against those people.

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