David Hoppe, operator of an alleged illegal casino in Roseville, Michigan, will consider whether to accept a plea deal that would drop charges against his son and sister. Hoppe, his son Lucas, and Denise Hagen, appeared in the Macomb County Circuit Court on December 27 on allegations that they ran a gambling facility at the 777 Cafe. The three are charged with several counts, including: gambling operations, 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 2 years in prison or a fine of up to $1,000; and using a computer to commit a crime, punishable by up to 4 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Investigators allege that patrons were placing wagers at slot-style gaming terminals, which Hoppe claimed were certified by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), however, authorities say that they were not. In June, a search warrant was executed at Cafe 777, where 19 gaming terminals were seized, along with receipts and cash. Assistant Attorney General Bob Hayes told Judge Diane Druzinski that he is seeking approval to offer Hoppe a plea deal. Hoppe would plead guilty to a 10-year felony in exchange for dismissal of charges against his son and Hagen, and prosecutors would promise not to pursue a second case against them for a similar operation in Flint.

Before the trial scheduled for January 28, defense attorney Eli Muawad will respond to a motion by Hayes regarding whether the jury should learn of Hoppe’s 2013 guilty plea to misdemeanor maintaining an illegal gambling or gaming facility. In his plea deal, Hoppe agreed that he would not make available to the public gaming machines not certified as non-gambling devices by the MGCB. Hoppe was originally charged with a 10-year felony charge of conducting a gambling operation without a license. Hoppe, his son, and Hagen remain free on personal bonds.


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