Crime

Pair plead guilty to illegal gambling house in Gaston County

Two men have pleaded guilty to operating a gambling den in Gaston County.
Two men have pleaded guilty to operating a gambling den in Gaston County.

Two men have pleaded guilty to running an illegal gambling house in Gaston County.

Lenny Steen Jr., 65, of Spartanburg, S.C., entered his pleas Thursday to running an illegal gambling operation and money laundering.

His partner, Clarence Larry Calhoun, 71, of Gastonia, pleaded guilty in January.

Both men will be sentenced at a later date. They face a combined sentence of up to 25 years in prison and a $750,000 fine, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The 63 video poker machines of “Mr. Lenny’s Place” were never unplugged. Prosecutors said Steen’s and Calhoun’s operation ran 24 hours a day, seven days a week before it was shut down in October. It had moved into a large warehouse in Gaston County a year ago.

The operation cleared about $10,000 a day, with the partners splitting the profits, prosecutors said. Calhoun hid his share in PVC pipe that he stashed on property he owns in both Carolinas. Calhoun took his money back to Spartanburg, where others stored it for him.

Word of the federal crackdown surfaced in January. Federal documents at the time indicated that law enforcement officers seized more than $4 million during the investigation.

Gordon: 704-358-5095

  Comments