Friday, March 16, 2007

More Pea Shake Busts

Indianapolis police for the third consecutive day this week have raided illegal gambling establishments. This time it involves two more pea shake houses, one near 34th and Central and the other in the 1400 block of Roache Street. The Roache Street pea shake house was raided last month but immediately reopened for business. Sen. Glenn Howard protested the raid at the time it took place. The Star's Vic Ryckaert reports:

Metropolitan police raided two suspected gambling houses this morning.

Officers made arrests and seized suspected gambling equipment and guns from a home near 34th Street and Central and another home in the 1400 block of Roache Street, Lt. Doug Scheffel said.

Police say the home were gambling establishments known as "pea-shake houses," where patrons are paid off if they select winning combinations of three or four numbers.

Police say the home were gambling establishments known as “pea-shake houses,” where patrons are paid off if they select winning combinations of three or four numbers.

Police arrested nine people at the Central Avenue storefront and issued summonses to 10 others. A shotgun, revolver and $5,339 in cash were seized. Four people were arrested on Roache Street and two received summonses. Police confiscated a handgun and $1,605 in cash.

The raid of the pea shake house on 34th & Central Avenue will be pleasing to several neighbors in the area, including Kevin Warren and Scott Van Kirk, both of whom have complained to City-County Councilor Jackie Nytes about the problem. Their concerns have been largely ignored until today. Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer lives within a block of the Central Avenue pea shake house.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Kevin Warren and Scott Van Kirk, both of whom have complained to City-County Councilor Jackie Nytes about the problem."

Therein lies the problem. Jackie Nytes.

Wilson46201 said...

Jackie Nytes is one of our most competent Councilors - her continued leadership was crucial in the H.R.O. battle. Anonymous nobodies must be really, really desperate to try to blame Jackie!

Anonymous said...

The shakes need to be legalized and pay taxes like any other gambling entity. Why is this a problem, really?? Hell, the Bible says "Render that which is due Caesar", right?

In the meantime, Gray, Gibson Conley and the other embarrasments of the City County Council are probably terrified of the possibility of losing a source of political contributions. Perhaps a more qualified, less corrupt breed of politican, Democrat or Republican, can suceed where they have failed as far as leadership. Gerrymadering has benefited them, but perhaps a more level economic playing field may result in a better field of candidates. One can hope anyway.

Wilson46201 said...

Ixnay on the errymandering-gay. The Council Districts were drawn by courts to solve a problem of battling gerrymanderings. Gibson runs at-large thus he had no district boundaries except the entire county. That gerrymandering excuse dont fly, in other words.

I know more than a little about financing of election campaigns - contributions from peashakes play little (if any) roles. Both Gray and Conley are very gregarious and sociable people - they get out and about in the neighborhoods. Conley was a popular radio DJ and knows how to "work a crowd".

Find better candidates with more popular programs and the GOP might get somewhere. Until then, whining about gerrymandering and peashake cash financing campaigns is political self-delusion leading to electoral loses.

P.S. With VoterID you've also lost the excuse of "election fraud". Whiners are not winners!

Shorebreak said...

Recently I've posted quite a bit on various blogs about banks who maintain account balances of laundered funds in order to increase their loan potential. This is a well documented practice that's revealed on a regular basis in court proceedings nationwide on a local, national, and international level, often with minimal repercussion towards the finance entity.

I've speculated that this may be the case with regards to the peashakes, based upon reports by Abdul Hakim Shabazz on his blog Indianabarrister.com that the peashakes profit at least $29 million per year and that the US Department of Justice has been investigating this activity for three years.

Without backing away from the likely possibility that this kind of finance activity is taking place, it would be remiss not to point out another popular laundering scheme that is long associated with illegal numbers operations. I'll give an example.

In Virginia Beach, VA there's an extremely popular restaurant called Captain George's. It's a buffet that offers a wide variety of seafood and other main dishes. In the mid 80's, other local restaurants looked at them in awe as they consistently broke local volume and profit records. In fact, they were so successful that they began branching out by adding locations in neighboring cities. Competitor's simply couldn't match their quality while simultaneously competing with the relatively low price.

That was until around 1990 when the real reason for Captain George's success came to the surface. Investigators of numbers racketeering in Cleveland, OH had noticed that illegal gambling operations were sending out bulky Fed-Ex packages on a daily basis. They intercepted one of the packages and saw that it was addressed to the original Captain George's location on Laskin Road, in Virginia Beach. They quickly dispatched a couple of folks to Virginia and they witnessed daily Fed-Ex drops taking place at the restaurant location.

The Cleveland numbers operation had established a relationship with the Virginia restaurant owner where the buffet served as a front to launder the illicit proceeds. The profits spread across various restauraunt locations were in the tens of millions, and they enabled the restaurant to draw in a large customer base with low prices while simultaneously allowing the falsification of cash paying customer volume.

The buffet was an easy front to falsify the number of customers coming in. By making the restaurant an affordable, high quality operation they fortified the public appeal of the place, thereby creating a truly high volume customer base, which subsequently deflected suspiscion that an illicit operation was taking place. The restaurants were closed but were soon re-opened under new management. I don't knpw where they currently stand in volume or profit, but I know that they are still popular among customers.

With that Cleveland/buffet scenario in mind, it's quite possible that a similar scenario exists in the case of the peashakes. It could be local or it could be taking place via another city or cities, in either buffet restaurants or other forms of business where inventory doesn't directly reflect volume. Like a car wash, for example.

Another popular laudering scheme is for legal gambling operations to inflate the number of bettors and subsequently inflate profits by laundering drug and other illicit profits. I know of at least one public official in Indiana who is fond of the peashakes and has pushed for their legalization. Is this the road that the peashakes are headed towards? It would be foolish to think that legalizing them would make outstanding citizens of the criminals who run them today. There is a profit motive behind the effort that likely involves the potential for additional laundering incentives.

If I were an investigator I'd be pursuing both the finance/loan/capital option AND the high volume business option. Are peashake operators using packaging companies to make regular shipments? Do local officials hold stake, ownership, or partneship in highly profitable enterprises?

There are a lot of unanswered questions regarding this gambling ring. Simply busting them and shutting down local operations doesn't answer any of them and doesn't hold accountable any of the people on the profit end.

If you're in the media (Vic, Abdul?) these are the questions that the public needs answered before we're satisfied that justice has been served. Otherwise, the closing of these gambling houses has not protected the citizens of Indianapolis from the corruption and profiteering that is still taking place. Will someone at least raise the questions so that the public is aware that they still deserve answers?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

shorebreak, one day I will be able to snatch the pebble from your hand.

Anonymous said...

Gary, where is Monroe Gray's timecard? We're all awaiting the revealing of the biggest Ghost Employment scandal ever in Indiana!

Anonymous said...

from GaryJ's blog,


Here is Monroe Grays time for 1/24/04 thru 1/14/05..
51 weeks accounted for totalling 357 days. Time accounted for as follows.

Legal Holidays*......11 days
Vacation Days........22

Working a total of 222 days during that 357 day period????

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

for 1/15/05 thru 1/6/06

51 weeks accounted for totalling 357 days.

Legal Holidays*............10
Vacation Days..............18
Included this year is 5 days at a conference of some type. 12/5/- 12/9
(probably work related)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006 is where it gets interesting.
There were 12 weeks missing.
May 13 - June 2
Sept. 15- Oct. 6
Oct. 28-Nov. 17
Dec. 8 - Dec.28
Legal Holidays*..........6
Vacation Days............13
"Authorized Leave"....7
Legal Holidays included
MLK Day
Presidents Day
Good Friday
Election Day--? (is that a holiday?)
Memorial Day
July 4th.
Labor Day
Thanksgiving
Day After Thanksgiving
Christmas
New Years
Looks like pretty common Holidays except for the election day one.
Anyone have any input for why the 12 weeks are missing?

Shorebreak said...

FYI - somebody responded to one of my posts over on Topix where I asked when the media is going to dig into the laundering/racketeering aspect of the peashakes rather than just the gambling. They challenged me on what power "I" had to do anything about it:

Breakshore wrote:
And when "you" as part of "we" get the information, what in the hell are you in a position to do about it.


That was the entire response. Their posted name was "Breakshore".

I don't know if that challenge, combined with the user name was a veiled threat but it wouldn't surprise me. My intent has been to make enough "waves" to draw a lot of attention to the issue and prevent the profit takers from feeling insulated.

It was more than likely just some ignoramus, but the response doesn't quite fit what I posted. It reads more like somebody who's upset that I've even raised the issue. Given the level of the stakes, I can't rule out the possibility that I've pissed somebody off. All I can say is GOOD.

Anonymous said...

Shorebreak,
I read that post @Indy Star Topix also. Sounds too me somebody's out to challenge anyone that's calling for the Feds to come in.
I went to the ticket house at Sherman and Mass twice yesterday when the shakes were scheduled. The place was a ghost town. Normally that lot there is jammed with cars. These busts are making for some real pissed off people.
Vic, at the Indy Star is fully aware of the racketeering connection. If he can taste a Pulitzer like Dick Cady did back in the '70's then I'd say "Mr.Big" is going to get smoked sooner or later.
The only thing keeping the investigations going are the blogs and posters like yourself. It's hard for crime to really hide now in the internet age.

GaryJ said...

Wilson, are you high? Jackie competent? You're nucking futs!!!

Someone has me and AI confused as the same person.
Maybe AI can verify that we're not!
Still looking into monroes time accountability and where he really was during that time. Several questions and other info has been sent to me via e mail and it will be looked into. The law on ghost employment is hard to prove, and Monroe covered his tracks very well IF he is involved in illegal activity. He has people like Wilson defending him and helping throw off the dogs!

Anonymous said...

garyj, it is just Wilson getting off the topic again. TRYING to make us talk about anything but the corruption of the local leadership and how deep their hands are in the pockets of the pea shakes.

Shorebreak, I am a fan. Keep doing what you are doing.

Shorebreak said...

Here's an interesting peice that describes how gambling activity affects politics and the corruption of public officials.

It's very interesting in light of certain public officials who are working to legalize peashakes. It's also interesting with respect to research I've conducted showing campaign contributions by Centaur and Centaur principals to candidates in districts where Centaur has vested gambling interests. Especially considering that their campaign donations fall on both sides of the political aisle.

Read the article - it's old news to some of us, but to others it's an eye opener on how this kind of corruption is common. Here's the link:

http://www.ncalg.org/Library/Studies%20and%20White%20Papers/Crime%20and%20Corruption/gambling_and_political_corruptio.htm

A shorebreak fan said...

In case you couldn't get the link, here is the article:
GAMBLING AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION



An NCALG White Paper

by Dr. Guy C. Clark

Chairman, NCALG/NCAGE



The corrupting effects of gambling on politics take two forms. Reported, legal campaign contributions on both the state and national level amounted to tens of millions of dollars last year. Many previous anti-gambling candidates changed their votes when faced by opponents who were being heavily funded by gambling interests. Illegal, under-the-table bribes from the gambling industry are harder to corroborate, but are probably also in the tens of millions. Both form a corrupting influence on our political system of major proportions and help to promote the gambling agenda.



CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS



The Center for Responsive Politics reported that the gambling “industry” in 1999 gave $448,700 to the National Republican Congressional Committee and $847,341 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. According to the article, Paying the Price in Common Cause, “PAC and soft money contributions from the industry have grown from $2.3 million in 1993-94 to more than $5.6 million in 1997-98. Soft money contributions account for much of this growth, increasing from just under $2 million in 1993-94 to $4.7 million in 1997-98.”



In Illinois, The Sunshine Project, a campaign watchdog organization, found that the gambling “industry” had contributed $1.7 million to state and local politicians in 1995 and 1996. During that time, 123 legislators received at least $500 in contributions. House Minority Leader Lee Daniels received the largest single amount, and the House Republican Campaign Committee received $334,000.1

In California, one card club alone spent nearly $2 million in the last five years on contributions and lobbying at the state level. The Mashantucket Pequot Indian tribe, which operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, has spent more than $1 million on federal soft money donations since 1993. In the1994 casino legalization battle in Florida, casino interests spent $16 million. In 1996, Arkansas gambling interests spent $6 million and Ohio spent $9 million in campaign contributions. 2

The two eastern Connecticut tribes, owners of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods resorts, contributed a total of $60,000 in October, 2001 to Democratic and Republican national political organizations. 3

The connection between the political contributions and the vote is easy to follow in most cases, but New Mexico provides a startling case in point. In the 1996 election season, the tribal casinos contributed about $340,000 to State Senators and Representatives running for office. Articles by reporter Tina Griego in the Albuquerque Tribune titled "New Mexico’s Big Gamble" showed that 44 legislators received over $2,000 apiece, the largest contribution being over $46,000, received by Senate pro tempore president Manny Aragon. Only two of those 44 legislators voted against the tribal compacts. That’s a high return on the investment.



BRIBERY AND EXTORTION BY GAMBLING INTERESTS

In testimony before the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, former Illinois Senator Paul Simon stated that…gambling “…has more of a history of corruption than any other industry.” Public officials in state after state have been indicted and convicted in gambling related illegal activity.

An alleged Youngstown mob boss put at least $10,000 into the 1996 election campaign of the Mahoning County sheriff in an effort to protect illegal gambling businesses. 4



From Ohio, “FBI affidavits unsealed Tuesday are loaded with names of local judges, police officers, sheriffs, union leaders, politicians and businessmen who are alleged to be members of or under the control of the local faction of the Pittsburgh Mafia…relating to mob-controlled illegal gambling businesses and other forms of public corruption.” 5



In Florida, Bo Johnson, ex-speaker of the House of Representatives, was charged with seven criminal counts involving extortion and bribery, the largest of which he received from a casino company, and could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison and be fined up to $1million if convicted on all counts. 6

Representative John Leopold of Maryland stated, “The Senate Majority leader from Washington County was offered a $10,000 bribe to vote for that (slot machine) bill. Another legislator, a State Senator from my county, was also offered $5,000 in cash in an envelope outside the Senate chamber.” 7

Nineteen Arizona legislators and lobbyists were caught on videotape, with the legislators promising to vote for gambling bills after receiving cash from the lobbyists. 8 One legislator was convicted of conspiracy, and six ultimately accepted plea bargains. 9

In Missouri, the House Speaker of 15 years resigned in 1996 after a federal investigation produced charges of gambling-related deals. As reported in newspaper accounts, the ex-speaker demanded that a gambling company funnel payments of $16 million to the ex-speaker’s business associates and friends in order to obtain a state casino license. 10

In South Carolina, Rep. Paul Derrick took $1,000 for his vote on a pari-mutuel betting bill, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Meyer told jurors today at Derrick's retrial in the Operation Lost Trust investigation. Derrick was "caught red-handed on videotape, taking a bribe for his vote," Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Meyer said. Derrick was "part of a core group of legislators in the House of Representatives who were ready to sell their votes and their support for cash," according to Meyer. 11 Seventeen South Carolina lawmakers had previously been convicted of or pled guilty to similar charges in 1992. 12

In Kentucky, Operation Bobtrot, an investigation into bribery surrounding the state’s horse racing industry, resulted in the conviction or plea-bargaining of 15 state legislators. 13



Louisiana seems to top the lot with blatant corruption at all levels of government. More than a dozen state legislators were investigated on bribery charges in a two-year FBI operation.14 Gambling board member Ecotry Fuller was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on 12 felony counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, perjury and conspiracy.15 After escaping felony convictions in several previous corruption trials, ex-governor Edwin Edwards was convicted on May 8, 2000 for the first time, “on charges he extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen applying for riverboat casino licenses.”16



The expansion that has occurred in legalized gambling across the U.S. in the past few decades has not been a result of a popular demand for more gambling. The expansion has occurred because the gambling “industry” pays state legislators, governors and other public officials for their votes, either with campaign contributions or by bribery and extortion. The gambling “industry” has pushed and pushed government at all levels, and passes out the money to buy friends and supporters. The gambling industry owns several state legislatures, and is an enormously corrupting influence in dozens of others. The U.S. Congress is becoming more and more susceptible to the enticements offered by the gambling industry.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Dave McKinney, March 17, 2001 Illinois sun-times

2 “Heavy Betting Nation-wide Gambling Political Contributions: a Mother Jones special investigation” June 9, 1999

3 Connecticut Post. Tuesday, December 04, 2001.

4Plain Dealer December 17, 1997
5 Tribune Chronicle, Warren, Ohio Jan 10, 1998

6 By Mike Oliver “Ex-speaker, wife to surrender today”, The Orlando Sentinel, January 22, 1998

7 John Leopold, Maryland State Representative, before National Gambling Impact Study Commission, August 20, 1997
8 Sally Ann Stewart, “New Tarnish on Arizona’s Image; Bribe Case Has State ‘in Shock,” USA Today, February 13, 1991, p. 6a.

9 John Pacenti, “Walker Found Guilty of Conspiracy in AzScam,” Associated Press, November 5, 1992

10 Joe Stephens, “Powerbrokers Await Windup of Grand Jury,” Kansas City Star, October 11, 1996, p. A1

11 Bruce Smith AP in The State, May 25, 1999

12 “Former State Representative Sentenced to Prison for Selling Votes,” Associated Press, April 24, 1992.

13 Bill Estep, “BOBTROT Leaves Legacy of Ethics Rules,” Lexington Herald-Leader, August 2, 1995
14 Jim Yardley, “Don’t Bet on Gambling; Louisiana Bribery Suspected,” Atlanta Journal and Constitution, September 5, 1995

15 “Indictment casts pall over gambling”, The Advocate, 8/6/99

16 Natalie Gott, “Former four-term Louisiana governor convicted of racketeering,” Associated Press, May 9, 2000,

Anonymous said...

Councillor Nytes competent?

I suppose that is in the eye of the beholder. As a "neighbor" to the 34th street Pea shake - I KNOW that for years our pleas to our elected officials fell on deaf ears - Jackie Nytes being one of them. Remember her quote in the IndyStar late last year that she felt that she had other priorities than to focus on the shake houses???? That is because there were no shake house, crack dealers, crack houses, ho houses on her block of Pennsylvania (and now Washington Boulevard).

And NOW...she is pushing for a low income, homeless transitional housing facility/project on the corner of 34th/Central Fairfield because she is personal friends with the new owner/developer - - oh and under the guise of economic revitalizition for the area. Hmmmmm - - if this were true...then she would have helped the residents clean up the area of its ills - - not bring back more of the same.