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Gambling Ring's Proceeds Sought By Prosecutor

State statute allows law enforcement to go after money and items used for illegal purposes and seized in investigations.

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is suing to keep the cash and electronic equipment law enforcement officials seized when it investigated and raided alleged gambling dens in Parsippany and Pompton Plains, according to a Daily Record report.

The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Morristown, asks for the $89,063 frozen in bank accounts belonging to the two Connections Cafe locations and its owner, Wayne resident Chester Ward, since they were raided in July, the story said.

State law gives law enforcement agencies the right to sue for cash and property seized in investigations and used for unlawful purpose.

An eight-month, multi-agency investigation of supposed Internet cafes on New Road in Parsippany and on Route 23 in Pompton Plains culminated in a simultaneous raid on both establishments.

Ward, 39, faces two counts of third-degree promoting and operating a gambling facility, two counts of third-degree promoting gambling conduct that materially aids gambling activity, two counts of fourth-degree maintaining a gambling resort and two counts of fourth-degree conspiracy to maintain the Parsippany and Pequannock gambling resorts.

Ward's alleged accomplice, Gary Roach, 55, also of Wayne, was arrested in connection with the Pompton Plains operation only. His charges include third-degree promoting and operating a gambling facility, third-degree promoting gambling by conduct that materially aids gambling activity, fourth-degree maintaining a gambling resort and fourth-degree conspiracy to maintain a gambling resort.

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