Polk County Texas Man Charged for Operating Illicit Gaming Joint
A 29-year-old Texas man was arrested this week for allegedly operating and owning an illegal game room in the Lone Star State. He surrendered to authorities.
On Wednesday, Sujit Baba Chalamalasetty of Beaumont was charged with possession of a gambling device, equipment or paraphernalia, gambling promotion, and keeping a gambling place, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Local detectives had been investigating an illegal game room in Leggett since at least Aug. 30. They presented their case to a local judge in Texas. They allege Chalamalasetty was the manager and owner of the illicit operation. The gambling involved cash payments, authorities said.
On Monday, the judge approved an application from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division for Chalamalasetty’s arrest. On Wednesday, he turned himself in to the sheriff’s office. The case will be given to local prosecutors.
Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons said that other crimes often are linked to the operating of an illegal gaming venue. Some of these associated crimes are armed robbery, illegal drugs, theft, stolen vehicles, burglaries, assaults, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct, Lyons said.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is staying vigilant in investigating establishments of this nature along with the criminal activity attached to these establishments, in an effort to improve the overall quality of life in these areas,” Lyons said in a social media posting.
So far, no patrons at the gaming joint were charged. But patrons could be charged in the future, Lyons added.
Leggett is 83 miles northeast of Houston.
In an unrelated incident on May 13, a man allegedly robbed Texas’ Naskila Gaming Hall, also in Polk County. The suspect, later identified as Marquel Fitzgerald, 34, of Houston, led police on a high-speed chase for 50 miles before a standoff with officers, authorities said.
The incident began at the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribe’s casino. It is located some 17 miles from Livingston, Texas.
While in the casino, Fitzgerald allegedly grabbed some items, possibly cash-out tickets, and fled from the gaming venue, East Texas News, a local news site, said.
One of the guests had placed them at the cashier’s booth, and the cashier had not collected them yet when the suspect stole them, Alabama-Coushatta Police Chief Rex Evans told East Texas News.
High Speed Chase
Texas Highway Patrol troopers and Polk County Sheriff’s deputies joined in the high-speed pursuit through Montgomery County, according to KTRK, a Houston TV station.
As the chase continued, he allegedly tossed items out of the car window. They were believed to have been stolen from the casino.
Some of the items later were located and seized by police officers. He eventually surrendered on a highway.
Fitzgerald was charged with evading arrest in a vehicle, tamper/fabricate physical evidence with intent to impair, and striking another vehicle while driving, according to Polk County Today, a regional news site. He remains in custody this week in the Polk County Jail.
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