BLCE charges three for gambling machines

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By RODNEY L. SHERMAN
Clarion News Editor

The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Law Enforcement has charged three people with operating the illegal operation of gambling devices.

Robert Ernest Dougherty, 73, and Janet L. Dougherty, 55, both of Rimersburg, and Kandi Lynn Simpson, 32, of Sligo, all are charged with one count each of illegal operation of gambling devices, a first-degree misdemeanor, Dec. 21, 2017, at Savelli’s Bar in Toby Township.

According to court documents, BLCE agents Leo Beeler and Leann M. Miles entered Savelli’s Bar as undercover agents at 6:55 p.m. Dec. 21, 2017.

Miles reports the agents observed a male playing one of two video poker machines in the bar. The man accumulated 400 points.

Miles alleges she observed Simpson a bartender at the tavern approach the machine and play the 400 credits down to zero.

Miles alleges Simpson then returned to the bar and wrote something on a piece of paper and then hand the patron a $50 bill and other “unidentified denominations of U.S. currency.”

At 6:45 p.m. Feb. 15, Miles again entered Savelli’s’ Bar. Miles reported she put $10 in the video poker machine and asked Simpson “what is the minimum amount of credits she would pay out.”

Simpson allegedly said she believed the minimum was 80 credits. Miles reported she played the video poker machine but did not accumulate significant points.

On March 3, a search warrant was served at the bar. Simpson allegedly signed a statement saying she knew illegal gambling was occurring on the premises.

The video poker machines, however, had been removed from the building.

Janet Doughtery, a BLCE-approved manager, was summoned to the bar. Janet Doughtery allegedly signed a statement saying she knew there was illegal gambling at the bar.

On April 4 at Doc’s Tavern near Rimersburg, Miles and Beeler interviewed Robert Doughtery, also a BLCE-approved manager, who allegedly admitted he owned the video poker machines and knew the machines had been on the premises for a few years.

Robert Doughtery allegedly refused to answer any questions about alleged pay-outs on the machines.

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement website lists Robert Doughtery as the owner of the licenses at Savelli’s and Doc’s taverns.