- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A six-month investigation of gambling in northern St. Mary’s County culminated Monday with law officers carrying out their second raid at a Charlotte Hall storefront and serving its proprietor with criminal charges of gaming violations and stealing more than $10,000.
St. Mary’s detectives announced the charges against George Raymond Wells, 56, of Huntingtown that afternoon, after they were served through a summons. The lawmen also released new details of the investigation they allege revealed the theft of about $66,000 from a charitable organization.
Monday’s raid followed an earlier police action last October at the shopping center business trading as TPR Inc., where they reported seizing its records and nearly $20,000.
Wells said at that time the casino operation was “abiding by the law” and conducting games “for good charities,” and that, in his opinion, the investigation was targeting compensation provided to the games’ dealers, which by his account amounted to serving them a meal.
St. Mary’s County sheriff’s Capt. Daniel Alioto reported Monday that Thoroughbred Placement Resources, a racehorse-rescue organization in Upper Marlboro, “had not received any share of the proceeds” from Wells’ casino operation, and that Monday’s raid found poker chips “depicting the defrauded charity’s logo and name.”
October’s raid revealed no documentation to support the claim that the charity was benefiting from the casino, according to the sheriff’s captain, and a separate raid at Wells’ home that month found a document that “illustrates his scheme designed to deprive TPR Inc. of all proceeds from the operation of the casino, ... [by using the charity’s] status as a charitable organization to operate a casino and divert a portion of the proceeds for personal benefit.”
Monday’s raid also seized unspecified gaming devices, according to the sheriff’s office.