Police bust gambling operation at Valley Forge business
Published 1:56 pm Friday, March 25, 2016
The owner of a Valley Forge business faces charges after police executed a search warrant at Orval’s Billiards and Game Room and found gambling devices in a back room.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office issued a criminal summons to Orval Leroy Pollard, 85, of 161 Taylor Ave., Elizabethton, charging him with gambling promotion and possession of gambling devices or records.
Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said his office received information on March 21 that a gambling operation was being run out of Orval’s Billiards and Game Room, located at 4582 Highway 19-E in the Valley Forge Community.
“An undercover operation was conducted and as a result of this investigation a search warrant was executed at the business,” Lunceford said.
According to court paperwork, that undercover operation took place on March 23 when two officers of the CCSO went into Orval’s Billiards and Game Room dressed in plain clothes.
“Upon entering the business, the two officers made contact with Orval Pollard, who has since been identified as the proprietor of the business,” said CCSO Deputy Chief Investigator Mike Little. “The officers, acting in an undercover capacity, were shown a back room, which was concealed by a curtain, in which two gambling machines were located.”
“While speaking with Pollard, he advised the two officers that they could pay to play the machines, and that if they won, to come get him and he would pay them out in cash,” Little added. “The officers were able to identify the games on the machines as games of chance.”
Based on the work of the undercover officers, Little said he secured a search warrant for the business, which was served that same day. Little said when he arrived at Orval’s Billiards and Game Room the business was open and he spoke with Pollard.
“After explaining that I was there with a search warrant, Pollard directed me to the same back room as had been described by the undercover officers, where I observed two electronic gambling machines,” Little said. “Upon further speaking with Pollard, he stated to me that he understood these machines to be gambling machines, acknowledged giving cash payouts to winners, and stated that he had knowledge that this type of activity is illegal.”
Lunceford said officers recovered the two electronic machines as well as evidence related to the gambling operation and evidence connected to a reoccurring poker game as well.
Little issued Pollard a criminal summons in lieu of arrest charging him with gambling promotion and possession of gambling devices or records. Pollard is scheduled to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on April 11.
This is not Pollard’s first run in with police regarding gambling.
In 2002, Pollard was found guilty of gambling promotion in Carter County General Sessions Court. He was sentenced to 5 months and 29 days in jail. That sentenced was suspended and he was ordered to serve 5 months and 29 days on probation instead. He was also ordered to pay a $50 fine and court costs and money which had been collected from the gambling machines was awarded to the Carter County Sheriff’s Office.
Pollard was also charged with possession of gambling devices or records twice in 1993, but both of those cases were dismissed in court.