Baltimore poker club co-manager sentenced to probation

Gerald C. Dickens, a 65-year-old resident of Bowie, Maryland, was sentenced to probation before judgment after pleading guilty to illegal gambling charges, it was recently revealed. Dickens was co-manager of the Owl's Nest, a South Baltimore poker club that was raided by city police on November 2, 2005. At the time, Dickens was charged with 25 counts of illegal gambling and gambling, and 2 counts of illegal liquor sales and possession.

Judge Charles Chiapparelli fined the co-manager $500 plus court costs this past Friday, January 27, and placed him on two years' unsupervised probation. Dickens pleaded guilty to just 3 of the original charges, one for each night an undercover police officer observed him running the illegal establishment, as part of a plea agreement. He also agreed to forfeit the $25,655 seized by police during the raid.

Dickens' partner, Joseph A. Cary, a 51-year-old Pasadena, Maryland, resident, was unable to appear in court on Friday due to an illness. His hearing was rescheduled for February 28.

Other employees sentenced include two waitresses and 6 card dealers. Heidi Lynn Cary, Joseph Cary's 25-year-old daughter, was fined $250 for serving alcohol without a permit, and placed on 6 months' unsupervised probation. Twenty-four year old Jill Renee Overcash was ordered to serve five hours of community service for helping to serve drinks on the night of the bust. Six dealers were fined $250 each plus court costs and placed on six months' unsupervised probation.

Another 3 dealers, a security guard, and the tournament cashier asked for a postponement, which was granted. Their hearings have been rescheduled for February 27.

No poker players were charged by the state as police quoted the wrong statue to all 80 players present at the Owl's Nest at the time of the raid, and the charges were subsequently dismissed by prosecutors.

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