Casino Crime Roundup: Illegal Gambling Leads to Two Arrests

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Two suspects were arrested recently for allegedly running an illicit gaming operation out of an Indianapolis, Ind. barber shop.

An Indianapolis, Ind. police car. Local cops arrested two men for gambling charges. (Image: WTHR)

Kesny Mathieu and Maxi Nicolas, also known as Wilner Andre, carried out the operation at the Nice Cut Barbershop. That’s where they improperly sold a form of lottery tickets between September 2022 and June 2023, according to Indiana TV station WXIN.

Nicolas was charged with corrupt business influence and eight counts of professional gambling or promoting professional gambling. Mathieu was charged with corrupt business influence and four counts of professional gambling.

Authorities said the duo ran a “borlette,” aka known as a “Haitian lottery,” out of the business, WXIN reported. Under such a scheme, the numbers that get played are often improperly disclosed, and a money transfer service is used to pay the borlette seller, the report added.

Undercover police officers purchased borlette tickets there for $20 each. There were also gaming machines located at the business.

During a raid of the business, officers reportedly found:

Four electronic gaming devices
About $4K in coins and currency
Tickets totaling about $40K
An HP Laptop and a small printer
Various notebooks and ledgers

Man Found Guilty in Homicide Linked to Gambling

An Indiana man was found guilty Friday in the murder of a woman last February. The Fort Wayne homicide was linked to gambling.

Demaury Haywood, 30, now faces up to 85 years in prison when he is sentenced on November 22.

Jurors deliberated for only three hours before returning the two guilty verdicts. He was charged with murder and a sentencing enhancement for using a firearm.

Haywood faces up to 65 years behind bars for the murder charge. Another 20 years could be added for the sentencing enhancement.

The victim, Diasha Fitts, a 39-year-old local barber, was shot on February 19 while riding in a car. Fitts was critically wounded and rushed to a local hospital, where she was declared dead.

Shortly before the shooting, she was at a blackjack/poker game at the local Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge.

Witness Challenged

During the trial, Haywood’s attorney, Robert Scremin, challenged testimony from one witness for the prosecution.

You don’t convict someone based on the words of a desperate, lying snitch,” Scremin told the jurors.

The likely intended target of the shooting, Brandon Golden, was the driver of the car, according to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

During the trial, Tesa Helge, Allen County deputy prosecuting attorney, called the shooting a “spinelessly planned ambush.”

A second defendant, Devonte Travier, 29, is also charged in the case. His trial begins in March.

He’s charged with murder, dealing methamphetamine (meth), resisting law enforcement, and obstruction of justice.

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