HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 25Issue 3THREE ST. CLAIR COUNTY RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL GAMBLING

Three St. Clair County residents appeared in Macomb County’s 39thDistrict Court on January 23, 2019, electing to waive their preliminary examination on multiple felony and misdemeanor gambling charges. They will be tried in Macomb County Circuit Court.

Following a joint investigation by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Roseville Police Department and the Michigan Department of Attorney General, it is alleged that the two men and one woman conducted an illegal gambling operation in 2018 at the 777 Café located at 32488 Gratiot Avenue in Roseville.  The trio, a 53-year-old father David Hoppe and his 29-year-old son, Lucas Hoppe, along with 64-year-old Denise Hagan, were previously released on bond following a December 19tharraignment hearing.

The defendants are charged with four counts—conducting gambling operations and using a computer to commit a crime, both felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000, maintaining a gambling house for gain, a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison or a fine up to $1,000, and a second using a computer to commit a crime, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000.  David Hoppe had previously pled guilty in 72ndDistrict court in 2013 to a one-year misdemeanor charge of maintaining a gaming or gambling place.  As part of his plea arrangement in that case, David Hoppe agreed he would not make available to the public any gaming machines not certified as non-gambling devices by either the MGCB or a laboratory the MGCB deemed eligible to test and certify such machines.  By pleading to the lesser charge, he avoided a 10-year felony charge of conducting a gambling operation where wagering was used without a license.

The investigation was triggered by a series of tips. Mr. Hoppe claimed that the slot-style gaming terminals were certified and approved by the MGCB, which the MGCB denies.  In a June raid, investigators seized 19 gaming terminals, gaming receipts and an undisclosed amount of cash.

In a press release that can be found here, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel stated: “Gambling is a highly regulated industry in our state and we are committed to ensuring that any and all gaming is conducted according to the law.”  “This investigation demonstrates a high level of cooperation between the City of Roseville, the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Gaming Control Board,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director.  “We thank the public for their assistance in reporting illegal gambling.” 

The MGCB urges residents to report illegal or suspicious gambling activity through its anonymous tip line, 888-314-2682.

 

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