Originally created 07/01/05

Police draw pair of arrests in gambling raid



A gambling raid by the Richmond County Sheriff's Office Vice Division on Tuesday resulted in the arrest of two men accused of running an illegal poker game and the citations of nine more, including Augusta lawyer James Pete Theodocion, for their involvement in the game.

Authorities charged Andrew Jackson Stewart, 43, of the 4500 block of Pinewood Drive in Evans, and James Leonard Singletary, 49, of the 2000 block of Bloomingdale Street in Augusta, with felony commercial gambling, said the vice division's Investigator Richard Elim.

"The sheriff's department is going to continue to crack down on illegal gambling," Investigator Elim said.

Authorities executed a search warrant at about 6:10 p.m. at 1113 Alexander Drive, where they recovered playing cards, poker chips, more than $4,000 and gambling receipts, according to a sheriff's office incident report.

Mr. Singletary was leasing the residence and had set up a large poker table in the living room, authorities said. He and Mr. Stewart face a felony charge each because police said they took a cut of each game's money. A "concerned citizen" tipped off sheriff's deputies to the poker games, which occurred about three times a week, Investigator Elim said.

When the search warrant was executed, 11 people were at the residence, including Mr. Theodocion, who is defending former State Schools Superintendent Linda Schrenko in her federal money laundering and embezzlement trial.

Mr. Theodocion said Thursday night that his ticket is $250 - less than his last speeding fine.

"I don't feel there's anything wrong with it (playing poker)," he said. "It's like a speeding ticket. I don't think there's anything wrong with playing cards with my friends."

Mr. Theodocion said he plays poker often and disagrees with the game being illegal in Georgia and called it an "embarrassment" to be prosecuted for it.

"Of all possible crimes a person can commit, poker has to be at the bottom of the list," he said.

Authorities cited the following men with misdemeanor disorderly conduct under the gambling section of the city ordinance: Mr. Theodocion, 38, of the 2220 block of Kings Way; Ralph Thomas Nelsen, 39, of the 500 block of Walnut Street in Waynesboro; Joseph Kent Oglesby, 25, of the 200 block of Threadneedle Drive in Martinez; Flavius Culpepper, 80, of the 2000 block of Starnes Street in Augusta; David Hamby, 63, of the 6100 block of Keg Creek Drive in Appling; John Edgar Sanderlin, 39, of the 2500 block of Scotts Ferry Road in Appling; John Bart Cathey, 40, of the 3300 block of Sugar Mill Road in Augusta; Fred Emerson Gillard, 63, of the 800 block of Sparkleberry Road in Evans; and James Donald Henson, 56, of the 100 block of Summit Commons Court in North Augusta.

Reach Kate Lewis at (706) 823-3215 or kate.lewis@augustachronicle.com.