Alexandria police have searched the homes of two men named in affidavits as having been "involved in illegal gambling operations" in the city and whose part sponsorship of bingo games in Fairfax County led to the revision of the Virginia laws governing bingo games two years ago.
The affidavits, which were sworn to by Alexandria undercover police officer Kathleen Bralove, allege that Robert B. Gerber and Edward L. Hinkle Jr. were involved in the operation of illegal bingo games at two locations in Alexandria. Neither man could be reached for comment yesterday.
The affidavits link both men with Alva Ford Thompson, an Alexandria talent-scot and bingo opertor who has been charged with violating Virginia gambling laws by Alexandria Special Bingo Prosecutor Edward J. White. Thompson's house was searched in May after officer Bralove, who was employed by Thompson at a bingo parlor between April 13 and May 11, said in an affidavit that Thompson had run illegal bingo games.
In the two new affidavits, Bralove linked both Hinkle and Gerber with Thompson. She said she had seen documents in which Hinkle purported to sell his interest in a bingo enterprise to Thompson. Bralove also said in the affidavits that Gerber and Hinkle left telephone messages for Thompson about bingo operations and that Gerber had talked to Thompson about furnishing sponsors for the bingo games that latter operated.
One affidavits states that Hinkle leased the hall at 3819 Mount Vernon Ave. where Thompson allegedly conducted illegal bingo games and that the terms of the lease stated that Hinkle was not allow use of the premises to nonprofit groups seeking to earn money by sponsoring bing games for $1,500 per month. Hinkle leased the premises for $4,500 a month and during last August Hinkle ran bingo games for himself, accoring to the affidavit.
The affidavit further asserts that Landlord Investments Inc. was the lessee of the hall at 3819 Mount Vernon Ave. and that Hinkle is an officer of the economy. Landlord Investments is a corporation formed by both Hinkle and Geber and which leased a bingo hall in Fairfax County to the Annandale Boys Club.
In late 1976, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Hordan Jr. investigated allegations that the company had paid persons who worked at the hall in violation of Virginia law and may have overcharged the boys club in leasing.
Although Horan said he had failed to find "any violations we can prove" and there was no prosecution, the incident resulted in the state legislature tightening the laws governing bingo, requiring operators to file financial reports and giving local government power to regulate the games.
As was the case when the Thompson's house was searched the two men whose homes were searched last Thursday were not arrested nor have they been charged with any crime.
The affidavit made the following allegations:
Gerber, through several corporations, received rent for the bingo halls in excess of fair market vlaue as is required under Virginia law.
Gerber handled the money from bingo operations at the Mount Vernon parlor during August 1977 and that the records from these transactions are missing.
Hinkle told police in an interview that his involvement with bingo games ended in July 1977, but officer Bralove "has personally seen documentary evidence directly refuting this statement."
The affidavits said Alexandria police were looking for account books, payroll and personnell records, invoices, rental documents, and tape recordings relating to bingo operations in their searches of the homes of the two men.