Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 6, 1983 · Page 27
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Fort Lauderdale News from Fort Lauderdale, Florida · Page 27

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 6, 1983
Page:
Page 27
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Fort Lauderdale News, Thursday, Jan. 6, 1983 hf 7B Gambling suspects offered plea bargain By Kathleen Pellegrino Suff Writer Three men accused by police of operating a Hallandale gambling house, closed after a police raid 16 months ago, are being given the chance to pay for the investigation and avoid the risk of jail time. The three south Broward men appeared at a hearing Wednesday where Circuit Judge Stanton Kaplan gave each of them two months to raise $2,500 half the amount each would have to pay to reimburse the Broward Sheriff's Office for the 15,000 cost of the six-month investigation. Broward Assistant State Attorney Christopher Grillo told Kaplan that reimbursement and probation until the money is paid in full is part of a proposed plea-bargain agreement he had reached with defense attorneys representing the men, who were scheduled to stand trial this month. "I think it is extremely fair," Kaplan said. Chris Christy, S3, of Hollywood, earlier had refused a plea bargain agreement that would have landed him in Jail for a year. Michael Metzger, 32, of Hollywood, and Richard Muse-meel, 40, of Pembroke Pines, earlier had rejected plea-bargain agreements that would have required them to spend six months in prison. The three men and four others were arrested in September 1981 and charged with using a store at a Hallandale shopping center to operate a gambling house. The charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. One of the four others arrested was Joseph Puma, 67, described at the time by police as being a leading Broward County organized crime figure. Kaplan dropped the charge against Puma because he said there was not enough evidence to link Puma as an organizer of the poker games played in the same shopping center where the 67-year-old Hallandale man owned a restaurant. Kaplan 's ruling is on appeal. The other three have been placed on probation. "I think it would be hard for the state to get a conviction in Broward County. There's not a condo that doesn't have the same thing," Musemeci's attorney, Peter Aiken, has said about the case. "If they classify this as a gambling house, there are 1,000 in Broward County." Grillo said Maj. Nick Navarro, who led the investigation as head of the organized crime division in the Broward Sheriff's Office, had agreed to the plea bargain. Grillo said that in weighing a plea agreement, he took into consideration that "there is a great deal of sentiment for legalized gambling." "I thought it would be a difficult case to get a conviction, even though technically I feel they are guilty," he said. At the hearing Wednesday, attorneys for the three men said their clients needed time to raise the money. Kaplan said another hearing would be held in March to determine whether the men could raise $2,500, and said he probably would put them on probation for a year or until they paid the balance. Two BSO undercover officers at the hearing said Navarro was satisfied with the plea agreement even though it didn't include jail time because of other benefits derived from the investigation. "The gambling was only part of it. It gave us an insight into organized crime in Broward County. It slowed them down," one of the investigators said. When Puma was arrested, Navarro described him as "the Godfather" of organized crime in Broward County. The investigation also resulted in charges of dealing in stolen property against Puma and three other men. A trial in that case is scheduled for next week. ' ' ' t - y Stanton Kaplan Hollywood relents on soup line By Justine Gerety Slaff Writer HOLLYWOOD Eugene Verre walked from Miami, arrived in time for lunch Wednesday at the newly opened soup kitchen at St. John's Episcopal Church, then set off on foot for the Salvation Army in Fort Lauderdale. ' "I take A1A," Verre said of the walk, which lasts the better part of a day and an entire night, including naps on benches along the way. Verre, 60, was the first of about 30 people who came to the parish hall at the church, 1704 Buchanan St., for free homemade soup, bread and coffee on the lunch service's opening day. The small, orderly group might have gone unnoticed in the neighborhood but for attention that has been focused on the so-called Kitchen Ministry by city officials and merchants in the nearby downtown area. Merchants have voiced fears that the free lunch would attract vagrants. Wednesday's unobtrusive opening surprised city officials, who began to back off from their earlier insistence that service for the hungry would be illegal without special zoning approval. Verre said he knew nothing about the controversy. He had been directed to the soup kitchen when he sought help from another church. But before setting off for Fort Lauderdale and a hoped-for place in a Salvation Army vocational-rehabilitation program, he ventured, "I don't think your businessmen are going to have to worry about people who are just looking for something to eat." Vidkid Now In Florida m lii Am n . One of New York's leading camera stores CAMERAS LENSES PROJECTORS MOvlE CAMERAS COMPUTERS VIDEO TAPE RECORDERS HOME VIDEO GAMES and much more1 Continued from page IB The contest began today without Bill Mitchell. "I had $100 of my own money," Mitchell said. "But I needed $300 for the air fare. I couldn't find a sponsor." Too bad, Mitchell said. It would have been fun, because the Cha-minade High School senior also claims the second-highest score in the world on Donkey Kong, fourth-highest on Pac-Man and fifth-highest on Donkey Kong Jr. "I guess you could say I mastered those games," he said. The price? Six hours a day of video games this summer and two hours daily now that school has cut into his practice time. Also, $20 a week in quarters this summer. But that's down now to a quarter a day. "I just play one game all evening," he said. "I never play a game a lot unless I'm really serious about it. Every time I sit down I'm playing for a world record." Mitchell has it figured out. On Centipede, for example, the trick is to keep enough mushrooms on the board to satisfy the computer pro-. gram, but not too many to get in the way of shooting. Or, as Mitchell explains it, "If I let the spider get there and he eats one of the those mushrooms, that's it." Friends Eric Vorvish and Andy Weiner clued him in on the secret of Centipede. "They got mad at me when I broke the record because they were both planning to do it," Mitchell said. Young children look up to him as a video guru. His mother likes to brag about his computer prowess. He is, arguably, the best video game player in the state. There even are practical applications of the pastime. Mitchell said it has made him better, or at least more coordinated, as split end for his high-school football team, the Chaminade Lions. What he doesn't understand is how anyone especially city commissioners could kick up a fuss about the games. But he has an idea. "These are games of mentality," he said. "The older generation doesn't like being second-best to the younger generation in anything. And the younger generation just chews them upn video games." m GIMMICKS WO COUPONS WEEDED WO TiE-iW SALES Home F. video Games Comes With: Joysticks and Paddle Controllers TV Switch and AC Adapter Plus combat cartridge Price Break W t WMW l,.ri(l1 AM-5 PM j 3 C3ko)r3 fj C?7 hmh n m wr video came System j II ii)) I trJmty m Stock & on sale from... 5?ii&p t jsj'"- I d fin l5 fPSg II ".4 ,pL, C'V A L'M'z&cq m with Nikon 50mm 1.8 Lens Smallest, lightest, easiest-to-use Totally automatic Just focus and shoot Engineered with world-famous Nikon quality TAfl ARAC MARSHALL? SHOPPING CENTER - 7419 NW 57th Street University & Commercial OLYMPUS The Programmed Automatic Dust Barrier design no case or lens cap Take It anywhere" convenience Fully programmed exposure . automation 'Automatic focus-free setting Electronic audio visual signals (JDcD 722-0920 Every Lens...wide Angle, Telephoto & zoom, on saiei For Example: 282.8 AutO CT.(n Wide Angle. KbJ' 1352.8 AutO Telephoto . Close Focus Available for All Popular Mounts Telephoto.. msJi 80-2004.5 with bkrtlEli ' a HOURS: Mon., Tues., wed., Sat. 9-6 Thurs., Frt. 9-9 Open Sun. 11-5 LAUDERDALE LAKES ACROSS FROM JEFFERSON'S 3300 Rte 441 (State Road 7) Oakland Park Blvd. & 441 4S6-2234

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