Illegal gambling alleged

STEUBENVILLE – Officials have reported about $1.2 million in cash was confiscated from a home that was one of eight places searched by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Friday in connection with an investigation into illegal gambling.

James Ciotti, special agent supervisor with the bureau, said he couldn’t disclose the address but said a locksmith was employed to remove the cash from a safe there.

He said piles of cash in various denominations, from $2 bills to $100s, were obtained from the safe.

The state Attorney General’s Office reported warrants were issued for the following addresses: 61 Laurel Hills Drive; 220 S. Fourth St. (Canadian Confectionery); 4240 Sunset Blvd. (the 777); 391 Terri Ave.; 118 S. Ninth St.; 213 S. Fourth St.; 2320 county Road 25, Bloomingdale; and 112 Grandview Drive, Wintersville.

Ciotti said he couldn’t comment on pending arrests in connection with the raid, saying the matter remains under investigation and it could be months before charges are filed.

Ciotti said City Police Chief William McCafferty approached him several months ago about investigating illegal gambling in the city and assisted the BCI with the investigation.

McCafferty said the gambling involved betting on sports and playing numbers and it’s not been determined if other criminal activity was involved.

He and Ciotti wouldn’t say if owners and residents were present when the raids occurred. McCafferty would say the homes and businesses were entered without incident.

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