Vice Squad Got Games in St. Mary's

Someone snitched in tight-lipped territory

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Someone broke ranks and snitched on the southeastern shore of the Potomac in St. Mary's County, Md.

    News of illegal gambling in a Charlotte Hall restaurant seeped out. No telling how long it had been going on, because "no telling" has been the backbone of that fiercely unique cultural holdout for decades.

    Someone did tell. There was an investigation by -- get this name -- St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigation Narcotics Division. Why "narcotics" is not clear, but authorities found out about some electronic gaming devices and that folks were having a lot of fun playing in the restaurant and bar areas.

    So St. Mary's Landing Restaurant was busted. Vice narcotics detectives seized about $12,000 in cash, four electronic gaming devices and ledgers and documents that support charges of illegal gambling.

    "They're video gaming machines, basically," said Capt. Daniel Alito, of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office. "The money's put in, a bet's made and there's a game of chance ... and then once the machine indicates what the profit would be or the winning is, there's a payout from the bar."

    The case has been turned over to State's Attorney Richard Fritz and charges are pending.