- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
About two weeks after law officers checked the records of George Wells’ casino in Charlotte Hall and found “everything in order,” by his account, they returned Sunday night with a search warrant and reported seizing those records, along with nearly $20,000.
“We’re abiding by the law,” Wells said Monday after the raid, and a police search of his home. “If they don’t want gambling in St. Mary’s County, change the law. We’re doing it for good charities.”
“We are following the money,” St. Mary’s sheriff’s Capt. Daniel Alioto said at midday Monday as the local law officers, aided by FBI agents, continued their work to determine the relationship between the casino, its manager and Thoroughbred Placement Resources, a racehorse-rescue organization in Upper Marlboro.
Detectives raided the casino operation in Charlotte Hall just before midnight Sunday, shutting down the table games. No arrests have been made from the ongoing investigation of the shopping center storefront office titled TPR Inc.
“They were wrapping up a session” when law officers arrived with the search warrant, the captain said. “For the most part,” he added, “everybody that we ran into was cooperative.”
A separate raid at the home of the casino manager’s home in Huntingtown found more documents and $5,000, according to the detective.
Wells said Monday afternoon that the money at his home was to pay for the rental of the casino’s gaming tables, and that he has continuously made all his paperwork available from the games.
“I have all my papers in order,” he said. “Everything is here in black and white. It all adds up.”
Alioto reported that the raids, also assisted by Prince George’s County police officers, followed a review of banking records and included interviews with employees of the casino.
“We got enough information that gave us the opportunity to get the search and seizure warrants. They were very fruitful for us,” Alioto said Monday, and while the investigators already had some materials similar to the ones seized during the raids, “other stuff, we didn’t. Now, we need to go in a direction and follow that.”
Wells said, “It all had to do with the [games’] dealers being compensated. We buy them food. They come in and we give them a meal.”
A separate casino operation, titled Arden’s ARC animal rescue, was located at New Market Plaza. Alioto said that facility voluntarily closed down when its operators were advised of the investigation.