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Man charged with robbing poker game faces additional counts

September 17, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- A Hagerstown man charged in the holdup of an illegal poker game May 30 faces an additional 30 charges after investigators identified three more victims of that robbery, court records show.

The new charges against Michael Joseph Campher, 22, of 960 Security Road, Apt. A, include three counts each of armed robbery, robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and robbery, use of a handgun in the commission of a felony, first- and second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment, Washington County District Court records show. He also was charged with theft of more than $500, theft of less than $500, attempted theft of less than $100, and conspiracy to commit each of those crimes, court records show.

The charges were filed in a separate case after the investigator, Maryland State Police Cpl. Carl R. Hager of the Combined County Criminal Investigation Unit in Cumberland, Md., interviewed three additional victims in early August. One said he lost $500 in the robbery, another said he lost $360 and a third said he did not provide any money, Hager wrote in his application for charges.

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The new charges bring the number of counts against Campher in the two cases to 82.

When the original charges were filed against Campher, Hager identified only five victims, court records show. Those charges were forwarded to Washington County Circuit Court after a preliminary hearing Aug. 19.

On Tuesday, Campher waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the new charges, which will also be forwarded to Circuit Court.

More charges are possible as investigators continue to track down victims, Campher's attorney, Edward N. Button, told District Court Judge Ralph H. France II Tuesday. Investigators believe there might have been as many as 18 victims, Hager wrote.

Victims said the robbery happened between 10 and 10:30 p.m. during a poker game at 223 N. Prospect St., Hager wrote. During a break in the game, two men in ski masks walked in and ordered everyone to put their money on the table, Hager wrote. One of the men pointed a gun at a player and everyone put their money on the table as the other man gathered it up, Hager wrote.

Campher, who had played poker there before, was arrested after victims identified him based on the color of his eyes and other physical characteristics, Hager wrote.

France lowered Campher's bond in the new case to $100,000 Tuesday. Campher was being held on $250,000 bond in the original case, and he remained in the Washington County Detention Center Tuesday night.

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