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Operator of Hagerstown poker game pleads guilty to misdemeanor

October 22, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- The operator of a Texas Hold 'Em poker game where about 18 people were robbed in May pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of renting space in a Hagerstown building for the purpose of gambling, according to court records.

William Ray Cosey, 54, of 301 S. Mulberry St. in Hagerstown, was given a suspended one-year sentence, 18 months of supervised probation and a $1,000 fine, according to Washington County District Court records. Judge Ralph H. France II also ordered that Cosey forfeit all money confiscated at the time of his arrest, according to court records.

Police learned of the poker game while investigating a May 30 robbery in which two men took about $4,000 from 18 people, including a Maryland State Police trooper, according to charging documents filed by Maryland State Police Cpl. Carl R. Hager of the Combined County Criminal Investigation Unit in Cumberland, Md.

Witnesses said the poker games were held every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 223 N. Prospect St., Hager wrote. Police executed a search-and-seizure warrant June 13 and found 13 people playing Texas Hold 'Em, Hager wrote. Police seized $947 at that time, Hager wrote.

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Cosey told investigators he did not know what he was doing was illegal, calling it a home game that outgrew the home and saying he hosted the games to provide a "safe and secure environment" for playing poker, Hager wrote.

Five other gambling-related charges against Cosey were placed on the inactive docket, according to court records.

Deputy State's Attorney Joseph S. Michael agreed not to prosecute other witnesses to the robbery to gain their cooperation in that investigation, Hager wrote.

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