The man who operated the gambling hall where 22 gamblers were arrested last summer has been given probation.
The man, Margle Otis Ward, entered guilty pleas to charges of aggravated gambling promotion, possession of gambling devices and simple possession of drugs. He was given full probation on all three counts, all of which will run concurrently meaning he will be on probation for two years. He will also have to pay a $250 fine and will be required to forfeit all the gambling devices lawmen found during their raid of his Academy Lane building in August.
Investigators say Ward had been operating the illegal gambling operation out of the building located at the north end of McMinnville for some time. They decided to raid it after word came out of drug dealing at the establishment.
An undercover agent was sent to “buy in” to the weekly poker game.
While getting probation for running the gambling house, Ward did not escape totally free. The gambling arrest resulted in a violation of his probation. He is presently serving the remainder of a four-year sentence he received in 2014 for violating habitual traffic offender status.