Bond set for Girard gambling con artists Tuesday.


Staff report

GIRARD

Police say two men conned hundreds of dollars off people through illegal gambling in a “gaming trailer.”

The men’s luck ran out when police arrested them Monday.

Bond was set at $7,500 for James Locke of Warren and $5,000 for Samuel Staffen of Georgia at a hearing in Girard Municipal Court on Tuesday.

Locke and Staffen are charged with gambling, cheating and criminal trespass.

When they were caught, police said Staffen told them he had been running illegal gambling games for years.

A police report said multiple people complained from Wednesday to Monday they lost hundreds of dollars playing the makeshift games in an attempt to win expensive prizes.

One person reported losing $245; another reported losing $600.

The game was rigged so people would keep investing, but they would never get the total number of points needed to win, the report said.

Police approached the men at a South State Street address and discovered they didn’t have gambling permits and were not permitted on the property.

Police found two televisions, two stereos, a vacuum cleaner, toaster, cash and pieces for the game, including tickets, a board, clothes pins and a laser in the trailer.

Locke, who has several pending warrants, is also charged with falsification for identifying himself with his brother’s name after he was arrested.

They are in the Trumbull County jail.

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