If you're from Indiana, be careful about what you put up for auction or sale on the Internet – officialdom could be watching.
This week a 73-year-old Fort Wayne former firefighter and his 21-year-old grandson face gambling-related charges after they tried to sell off two old Cherry Master gambling machines on the Web.
The advert on Craigslist was picked up by a zealous Indiana gaming official who set up a meeting with Glen Lantz (73) and his grandson John Flickinger (21) which led to charges against Lantz of owning, trying to sell, repairing, offering an interest in a gambling device and promoting professional gambling, according to a probable-cause affidavit.
His grandson, who convinced him to use the Internet to get rid of the machines, is charged with aiding in promoting professional gambling.
Lantz told Indiana officials that he bought the machines in 1995 and had operated them in establishments in Wells and Allen counties for several years, court records said. Lantz split the money with the establishments’ owners, collecting the money from the machines and maintaining and repairing the equipment. The agreements ceased and he removed the Cherry Masters about two years ago and he has been trying to get rid of them ever since. He told police he knew the machines were illegal, court documents said.
Flickinger convinced his grandfather to put the Cherry Masters up for sale on the Internet. The 21-year-old is familiar with the advantages of using this medium – he and others were charged last December with stealing electronics from a store and selling the items on eBay, a police statement disclosed. He pleaded guilty in July to receiving stolen property. Seven other additional felony charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Flickinger was ordered to pay more than $31 300 in restitution to the victims of the thefts and was sentenced to one year on home detention.