In the Dec. 19 Southern Maryland Extra, an article about gambling arrests in Calvert County reported that Antoine Jacks said he gambled for a short time in the Prince Frederick motel room where police broke up a dice game. Jacks said his remarks were meant to indicate only that he was in the room where gambling had taken place and was caught up in the police raid, but not that he had gambled. (Published 12/22/02)
Seven men who were caught in the midst of what Calvert County detectives termed a "high-stakes dice game" at a Prince Frederick motel were charged with illegal gambling and possession of marijuana, according to court documents.
The men were discovered when a concerned manager at the Super 8 motel on Commerce Lane in Prince Frederick called the sheriff's office last Thursday night after she smelled marijuana coming from a guest room.
Narcotics detectives and the department's special operations team arrived and opened the door to find a group of men sitting in a loose circle, according to charging documents. There were large amounts of money and dice spread out across the floor, and rolling papers and marijuana stems were on a nightstand by the bed, according to charging documents.
A law enforcement source said it appeared some of the men were making $100 bets on rolls of the dice. Detectives seized about $12,000, several dice and a sandwich bag of marijuana from the room, according to court documents.
James R. Wills Jr., who was among those arrested for gambling, said the men were trying to win money to buy Christmas presents.
"It was a friendly game," said Wills, 32, who was convicted of playing dice in the early 1990s. "I don't know really what's the big deal about the whole situation."
Police charged seven men with illegal gaming and possession of marijuana: Wills, of Chesapeake Beach; Dana L. Barnes, 31, of St. Leonard; Corey E. Butler, 31, of Lexington Park; Jeffrey G. Jones, 45, of Huntingtown; Dexter M. Holland of Port Republic; Antoine Jacks, 29, of Upper Marlboro; and Sean Wills, 32, of Port Republic.
Gaming is a misdemeanor charge with a possible sentence of two years and a possible fine of $100. Sgt. Bobby Jones of the sheriff's office said it is relatively rare that anyone is charged with gambling in Calvert.
The detectives also took the opportunity of the encounter with Barnes to serve him with a warrant on charges of distributing crack cocaine.
In an interview, Jacks said he gambled for about 20 minutes before detectives entered the room using an electronic card key. Police confiscated about $160 from him.
"I only did it for a little while," he said. "I got caught up in it."
Jeffrey Jones denied that there was any dice playing going on that night and declined to comment further.