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Two plead guilty to gambling charges

By By William F. West / community editor
Aug. 22, 2002
Sheriff Billy Sollie said two storekeepers confessed to having illegal video gaming machines and were fined by the Lauderdale County Justice Court.
Roger Haguewood, 48, of 1918 Highway 19 South, and John Poisso, 44, of 2051 Old Wire Road, Apt. A, entered their pleas on Wednesday, Sollie told reporters at a news conference later in the day.
Maj. Ward Calhoun said the two men were fined $253 each for the first-offense misdemeanor charges resulting from a June 4 countywide raid.
Calhoun said $1,090 was found in Haguewood's machines and $131 was found in Poisso's machines. Sollie said the money seized from the two mens' machines will be turned over to the county and the machines will be destroyed.
On the day of the raid, Haguewood was operating the BP Outpost convenience store, located along U.S. 45 at the Lauderdale-Clarke county line. Poisso owns and manages his own convenience store, located at 2527 Highway 496.
The two men were among 16 people rounded up in the June 4 raid by sheriff's deputies and state Gaming Commission agents, who seized more than 100 video poker machines.
Sollie said two other court cases set for last week were delayed because an officer was not immediately available to testify. He said another case was dismissed by the county prosecuting attorney, meaning that it could be brought up at a later time, possibly in Circuit Court as a felony case. The rest of the cases are pending, with the remaining accused people out on bond awaiting a date in Justice Court.
Sollie said the state Gaming Commission provided a state Supreme Court ruling for the Lauderdale County judges that clearly defines an illegal gaming machine.
The way the illegal video gambling in Mississippi works is that a player who scores a certain number of credits after playing a machine receives a payoff from the storekeeper.