Three people accused of taking part in a gambling operation at two businesses were arraigned on multiple charges Thursday in a Killeen courtroom.
Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke arraigned Shamir Maredia, Sabjaal Maredia and Gopal Bhattari on charges of keeping a gambling place, gambling promotion and possession of a gambling device. Cooke set bail at $5,000 on each charge for each suspect.
According to police reports, the three suspects were involved in running an illegal gambling operation out of Gateway Food Mart and Booze Liquor, both located on East Rancier Avenue.
After an undercover investigation, law enforcement officials said the businesses possessed six “eight-liner” machines, which printed game vouchers. Winning vouchers were then taken to the stores’ clerks, who paid out the winnings in cash, according to the police report.
The report stated the machines were initially spotted by Killeen Fire Department personnel while conducting a code inspection. On Oct. 2, police seized the gambling devices, along with $37,000. Two other Killeen residents were arrested: 27-year-old Khatri Sagar and 55-year-old Clara Guzman. Both were charged with keeping a gambling place, gambling promotion and possession of gambling paraphernalia.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.