County man appeals gambling conviction

Published 9:55 am Friday, October 7, 2016


A Carter County man found guilty on gambling charges in June made his first appearance in Criminal Court on Thursday as part of his appeal on the conviction.
On June 27, Orval Lee Pollard, 85, of 161 Taylor Ave., was found guilty of one count of gambling promotion and one count of possession of gambling devices during a bench trial in Carter County General Sessions Court. Following his conviction, Judge Keith Bowers Jr. sentenced Pollard to 5 months and 29 days of supervised probation through Crossroads and ordered him to pay a $25 fine and court costs for each of the two charges.
Just days after his conviction, Pollard filed an appeal of the conviction through his attorney Jim Bowman. The case was then appealed over to Criminal Court. Originally Pollard was scheduled to make his first court appearance on the appeal in August but the case was transferred from Judge Stacy Street’s court to Judge Lisa Rice’s court on August 1 which caused a reset in the case.
On Thursday, Pollard appeared in court with his attorney to begin the process for the appeal. Rice set the case for a jury trial on Dec. 14.
No documentation stating a grounds for appeal has been filed with the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office as of this time.
The charges against Pollard stem from an investigation by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office that began in March after the department received a tip 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.
Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office set up an undercover operation where two officers in plain clothes entered the business and made contact with Pollard. According to court documents, the undercover officers were shown into a back room where two gambling machines were located and Pollard told the officers they could pay to play the machines and if they won he would pay them out in cash.
Following the undercover operation, investigators obtained and served a search warrant on Orval’s Billiards and Game Room the same day undercover officers had gone inside.
Court documents said Pollard admitted to officers he knew the machines were gambling machines, admitted he gave cash payouts to customers and said he knew that type of activity was illegal.
Officers seized two electronic machines from the business as well as evidence related to the gambling operation and evidence connected to a reoccurring poker game as well.

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