Eight men and women have been charged with involvement in illegal gambling at Bootsie's Lounge after a police raid, but defense attorney David Barrow said in a Tuesday morning hearing that the search warrant was not conducted legally.
The owner of the 37th Street establishment, Mary K. Thomas, has been charged with gambling promotion, receiving, possessing, and transporting alcohol, unlawful sale of alcoholic beverages, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of marijuana.
During the raid, gambling paraphernalia and liquor were found on the premises even though Bootsie's does not have a license to sell or store liquor. Police also found a rolled joint of marijuana on the floor as well as a handgun and more liquor in Ms. Thomas' car.
Another defendant, Stoney Chubb, was found with pull tabs in his back pocket as well as $249 in cash. Chubb was charged with gambling and possession of gambling devices.
Helen Varner was charged with gambling promotion, a class B misdemeanor. Cornelious Reginald Boyd and Kathrine Games were charged with gambling and possession of gambling devices. Ezell Townsend, Delaney Thomas Heathington, and Norman Freeman were all charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Attorney Barrow said when conducting a search warrant, police must specify and get approval for exactly where they are going to search and what they are searching for. He said there also must be probable cause to obtain a warrant. Because of the exclusionary rule, illegally seized evidence cannot be used against defendants, he said.
All eight co-defendants are scheduled to appear again before Judge Gary Starnes on April 29.