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TRUMBULL COUNTY FBI: Gambling ring has connection to mob



Published: Fri, November 9, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The investigation started in March 2000 and is continuing, the FBI says.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A gambling operation that authorities say was being operated out of the General Motors fabrication plant in Lordstown and a building on Wood Avenue S.W. in Warren has ties to an organized crime figure in Cleveland, an FBI agent says.

John J. Kane of the FBI's Youngstown office declined to identify the individual, saying the investigation is ongoing.

"This is not over," Kane said.

Bob Chambers, president of United Auto Workers Local 1714 at the fabrication plant, said he isn't aware of any gambling operation at the plant.

"If any of that would be true, it would be extremely limited and be on a minute scale," he said.

He said the news is unfortunate at a time when the fabrication and assembly plants are trying to win upgrading from General Motors that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

He added, however, that he doesn't think it would affect a pending decision by GM executives on bringing a new product to the assembly plant.

The fabrication plant, which makes parts for the adjacent assembly plant and other plants, has about 2,500 hourly employees.

The search: FBI agent Jeffrey Sadlak received 21 federal search warrants earlier this week from U.S. District Court in Youngstown.

Sadlak and officers from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and the Niles, Warren and Lordstown police departments used the warrants to search homes, vehicles and other structures in Trumbull County on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The warrants state that numerous gambling records, football pool cards and betting slips were confiscated.

No arrests have been made and no indictments have been issued, Kane said. The investigation began in March 2000, Kane said.

Detectives Jeff Hoolihan of Warren, Rick Seigal of Lordstown and Jim Robbins of Niles were among the officers who worked on the case.

Locations: The operation included sports bookmaking and a numbers lottery being conducted from GM's fabrication plant and a building identified by authorities as the Tri-County Golf Club at 1109 Wood Avenue S.W., Kane said.

The one-story cinderblock building is a social club not affiliated with a golf course, authorities said.

Kane said the gambling operation was bringing in an estimated $10,000 a day.

Tom Mock, spokesman for GM, declined to comment.

The warrants: Those named in the warrants are Walter Brown of Grant Street, Niles; Andrew J. Polk, 52, no address available; Joseph Cupido, 62, of Andrea Blvd., Niles; Paul Bridgens, 51, of Palmyra Road, Lordstown; John Masarick, 77, of North Road, Niles; Andrew J. Jordan Jr., 62, of Warren; Clifford L. Jordan, 57, of Warren; and Clifford L. Jordan Jr., 23, of Van Wye, Warren.

None returned telephone calls seeking comment.

Bridgens works in the trim department at the GM assembly plant and Polk works in the press room at the fabrication plant.




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