By Linda Looney-Bond
Three alleged gambling-parlor operators were indicted on commercial gambling charges by a Clayton County grand jury this week.
According to an indictment filed in Clayton County Superior Court, Timothy Michael Peek, 30, of Stockbridge, and Norman Jeffrey Brown, 37, (no address given), were indicted Wednesday on one count each of commercial gambling, in connection with alleged illegal gambling activities at "Our Place," an establishment located at 1973 East Highway 138, in Jonesboro.
In a separate case, according to court records, Deborah Ann Wooten, 56, was indicted for alleged commercial gambling at "Debbie's Trinkets and Gifts," a business located at 8274 Tara Blvd., in Jonesboro.
The indictments against Peek and Brown allege that both men operated and participated in the earnings of "Our Place." Both were arrested following a police raid at the business on Aug. 26, court records show.
Peek was also indicted on charges of keeping a gambling place, and possession of a gambling device. According to an arrest warrant obtained by Clayton County Police, Peek was the owner of the establishment.
"He [Peek] did maintain over 15 video gambling machines in the business," police said, "and a confidential, reliable informant, who was being monitored by the Clayton County Police, was paid in U.S. currency for his winnings on a video poker machine," the warrant states.
Peek was granted a $25,000 bond on Aug. 28, according to court records. No attorney was listed for him in online court records, Thursday.
Court records show that Norman Jeffrey Brown was an employee of "Our Place."
"The defendant [Brown] did admit to operating the above listed [establishment] as a clerk, paying out cash winnings in U.S. currency," police wrote in a warrantless arrest affidavit, filed in Clayton County Magistrate Court.
Brown was granted a consent bond on Sept. 8, court records show. Brown's case was assigned to the Clayton County Circuit Public Defender's Office. His attorney, Brandi Alexander, was not available for comment on Thursday, according to an assistant.
In a separate case, Deborah Ann Wooten, also was indicted Wednesday. Wooten was arrested Aug. 28, when authorities executed a search warrant on "Debbie's Trinkets and Gifts," in Jonesboro, according to court records.
"The defendant advised agents that the business was hers," police said, "and that she did operate a video gambling place, and that the 'trinkets' located in the business were a front for the illegal gambling taking place in her business," police said in a warrantless arrest affidavit.
Wooten was indicted on charges of commercial gambling, keeping a gambling place, possession of a gambling device, and violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act. The drug charge stems from alleged possession of methamphetamine, the indictment states.
An alleged patron of "Debbie's Trinkets and Gifts," James Jeffrey Plunkett, was also charged with a drug violation, and illegal gambling, in the same indictment.
Wooten was granted a $25,000 bond on Aug. 29, court records show. Her attorney, Renee Boston, could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Plunkett was also granted bond on Aug. 29. No attorney was listed for him in online court records.
Meanwhile, the reported owner of "Jan's Billiard's," another Jonesboro establishment that was raided on Aug. 26, is awaiting arraignment. Janet Lynn Riggi, 53, was indicted on commercial gambling charges on Dec. 16.
She is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 3, in Clayton County Superior Court.
Riggi was arrested during an August raid at "Jan's Billiards," which is located at 1820 Noah's Ark Road, in Jonesboro.