By James Fisher
OCEAN CITY - Police arrested the proprietor of a suspected illegal gambling operation in Ocean Pines on Friday, and prosecutors say charges may be pending for 15 others who were present when a poker tournament was raided.
Steven Earl Foss, 35, of Ocean City was arrested and charged with betting and using a premises for gambling, the Worcester County State's Attorney's Office said in a statement. The two counts against him carry a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and $1,500 in fines. Foss was arrested, the State's Attorney's Office said, when sheriffs, county detectives and Ocean Pines police made use of a search and seizure warrant to enter a store in the Village Square Shopping Center in Ocean Pines on Friday.
The officers found 15 people playing Texas Hold 'em poker, $3,000 in currency, dozens of decks of playing cards and poker chips.
The 15 people "were identified by police and will be served with criminal summons at a later date," the prosecutors' statement said, but their names were not released.
Spokeswoman Mary Nelson said Worcester state's attorney Joel Todd would apply for charges against the 15 alleged gamblers this week, and that only after a district commissioner reviewed the application would they be identified.
Authorities say Foss, the only person arrested during the raid, was leasing the store in question, in the outdoor mall that sits near the southern entrance to Ocean Pines. Calls to a directory listing for him were unanswered Monday.