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3 indicted in alleged illegal gambling operation case


By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer
Three people have been indicted on felony charges of promoting gambling stemming from an investigation of an allegedly illegal gambling operation on South Queen Street.

Terry W. Howard, 65, Bradley W. Howard, 40, and James W. Blevins, 52, were all indicted by the Montgomery County Grand Jury Sept. 25.

The charges are classes D felonies punishable by one to five years imprisonment if convicted.

Their indictments are the culmination of an investigation launched about six months ago by the Mt. Sterling Police Dept. into an alleged gambling operation at H & H Restaurant, 109 S. Queen St., police chief Terry Landrum told the Advocate previously.

The indictments allege that the men “knowingly advanced or profited from unlawful gambling activity when they set up and operated eight gambling devices at a facility on Queen Street in Mt. Sterling.”

MSPD Det. Kalan Perdue was the prosecution witness before the grand jury.

Brad Howard is listed as the owner-operator of the restaurant, which has a business license with the city. The restaurant is now closed.
Landrum said previously that police had received numerous complaints about alleged illegal gambling taking place there.

At times, the police chief said that as many as 19 or 20 vehicles might be found parked at the business, but reportedly no one inside eating.
As a result of the investigation, Landrum said the dept. gathered enough evidence to obtain a search warrant for the business, which was served Sept. 10.

Investigators allegedly found several different types of gambling-related devices, dice and pool tables and seized a few thousand dollars during the search, Landrum said. Examples of the devices include slot and poker machines, he added.

The business reportedly had guards and surveillance equipment, according to the chief.
Several employees and patrons were reportedly present when police arrived to search the search warrant.

No arrests were made at the time as police said they preferred to take the case directly to the grand jury.

An indictment is a formal accusation of a crime, but does not establish guilt.

Mt. Sterling police say Brad Howard is the same individual identified in a July 20, 2017, article in the Advocate about his experience playing in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas that year.

Howard was reportedly one of 7,200 players from around the world who traveled to Vegas to compete in the prestigious tournament in hopes of winning the $1 million prize at the end of the main event.

According to the article, Howard placed third in a WSOP circuit stop in North Carolina prior to the main event.