By JOHN GHIRARDINI
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 03/02/05
A weekend raid on an alleged gambling house netted 23 suspects and $17,231 in cash, police said Tuesday.
An attorney for two of the suspects called it a friendly poker tournament.
Officers from the county's Multi-Agency Drug Task Force burst into a house on Spring Mill Cove in Duluth about midnight Saturday, officials said.
Police arrested 16 players on misdemeanor gambling charges, said Officer Darren Moloney, Gwinnett police spokesman. Bond was set at $1,000 each. Another five suspects were charged with commercial gambling, a felony. Bonds for the five, who police said included dealers, a hostess and a worker cleaning the house, ranged from $5,000 to $25,000.
One of the felony suspects was identified as Maurice Moultrie, who was providing armed security, according to an arrest warrant. Moloney confirmed that Moultrie, who lives in College Park, is a Fulton County deputy. His bond was set at $15,000.
Two suspects, Michael Gordon Rolader and Eli N. Nelson-Heath, each face a misdemeanor charge of keeping a gambling house as well as one commercial gambling charge. Rolader's bond was set at $30,000 and Nelson-Heath's at $20,000.
The two men's attorney, Troy Hendrick of Decatur, issued a statement saying, "This is nothing more than a lot of friends playing poker tournaments."