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August 18, 2009

Game room bust leads to three arrests in Vidor

VIDOR — Three people are in jail following an investigation into an illegal gambling operation in western Orange County.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office executed a search and arrest warrant at the Spin and Win game room in north Vidor, located near the corner of Lakeview Cutoff and North Main Street. Officers arrested three people in conjunction with the operation and confiscated more than four dozen machines.

Arrested were business owner Frank Joe Calamusa, 40, of Hayden, Ala., along with business employees Melinda Hooks Eaves, 56, of Kountze, and Pearl Mary Carter, 51, of Vidor.

“This has been several months in the making,” said Sheriff Keith Merritt. “It culminated from citizens complaints into our investigation into our action here (Tuesday).”

Merritt said a majority of the larger game rooms are located outside of city limits in actual county territory.

“Most cities have ordinances against this type of operation, which is why so many are located in the county areas,” Merritt added. “If they are operating within the law and the guidelines which are set forth, then they have nothing to worry about. But if they are operating illegally, then they can expect a visit from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office very soon.”

According to information provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation into the eight-liner operation resulted in the seizure of 52 gaming units, an undetermined amount of currency, weapons, and other evidence from the business.

Weldon Peveto, Orange County Constable Precinct 4, assisted in the investigation and in Tuesday’s operation at the game room.

Merritt and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation in the businesses which operate eight-liner gaming units and other businesses could be targeted in the future. The sheriff’s office asks anyone with information on eight-liner gaming activities in Orange County to call EasTex Crime Stoppers at 409-724-TIPS.



Tommy Mann Jr. is a reporter for The Orange Leader. He can be reached at 409-883-3571, Ext. 2619 or tmann@orangeleader.com

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