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Grand jury indicts alleged gambling parlor operator

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

The woman accused of running an illegal Jonesboro gambling operation, who was arrested in August, has been indicted by a Clayton County grand jury.

Janet Lynn Riggi, 53, was indicted Wednesday on charges of commercial gambling, keeping a gambling place, and possession of gambling devices or equipment.

Riggi was arrested Aug. 26 at Jan's Billiards, located at 1820 Noah's Ark Road, in Jonesboro, during a Clayton County Police Department sting operation.

The indictment states that Riggi did "intentionally operate a gambling place ... by giving U.S. currency to patrons for winnings on gambling machines."

"The above named defendant [Riggi] is the registered agent for Jan's Billiards, Inc.," Clayton County Police said in a warrantless arrest affidavit filed in Clayton County Magistrate Court.

"The defendant did admit that she was aware that the business was being used for illegal gambling and paying out cash money ... for patron's winnings," the affidavit continued.

According to the affidavit, on the day a search warrant was executed on the business, Riggi was in possession of the keys that opened the front door of the business, as well as keys for all of the gaming machines.

Riggi was granted $23,000 bond on Aug. 27, according to court records. Her attorney, Willie Davis, declined to comment on the case Thursday.

Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said Riggi may be arraigned on the charges sometime next month.

Also arrested on Aug. 26, during the Clayton Police sting operation, was the alleged owner of Our Place, located at 1973 Ga. Hwy 138, in Jonesboro. Timothy Michael Peek, 29, of Stockbridge, was arrested with the assistance of Henry County Police, when officers executed a search warrant on his Henry County home at 542 Knoll Wood Drive, according to Lt. Robert Bridgeman, of the Clayton County Police Department's Narcotics Unit.

Peek was charged with gambling, commercial gambling, and keeping a place of gambling, according to Bridgeman.

Police seized 60 video-gaming machines at Peek's home, according to Bridgeman. "All of the machines at his residence were seized for condemnation," Bridgeman said.

Court records show that Peek was granted $25,000 bond on Aug. 28, and his case was bound over to Clayton County Superior Court on Aug. 29. No attorney was listed for Peek in online court records Thursday.

"Complaints were brought to the attention of the Clayton County Police Department, through information obtained from the District Attorney's Office, as well as from citizen complaints," said Clayton County Police Officer Kevin Hughes, in a statement in August. "Undercover agents conducted investigations on both [Jonesboro] locations, and obtained information for a search warrant."

"Our investigation revealed that they had been paying out money, and the way the businesses were set up, ordinary citizens could not gain access," said Clayton County Deputy Police Chief Gregory Porter, at the time of the gambling raid.

"They [patrons] had to either be familiar with the person, or use some sort of code word, to gain access to the business," Porter said.