Copyright 1997 - N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts


STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA v. RICHARD CRABTREE, DANA CRABTREE,

AND BERTHA GAMBLE

No. COA96-1208

(Filed 15 July 1997)

1.     Searches and Seizures § 111 (NCI4th)-- bingo facility -- search warrant -- probable cause

    Probable cause existed for the issuance of a warrant to search a beach bingo facility for illegal gambling equipment where an officer's affidavit stated that officers and volunteers played bingo at the facility and observed $50.00 prizes awarded for bingo and monetary prizes being paid to patrons playing slot machines.

     Am Jur 2d, Searches and Seizures §§ 117 et seq.

2.     Searches and Seizures § 141 (NCI4th)-- search warrant -- manner of execution -- not general warrant

    Officers did not convert a search warrant, which was supported by probable cause and issued pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 15A-256, into a general warrant, which does not specify the items to be searched for, by interviewing employees inside an illegal bingo operation when executing the search warrant; therefore, defendant owners' motion to suppress the evidence seized during the execution of the search warrant was properly denied.

     Am Jur 2d, Searches and Seizures §§ 248 et seq.

3.     Constitutional Law § 163 (NCI4th)-- defendants not selectively prosecuted

    There was no evidence that defendants who were prosecuted for violation of beach bingo laws and possession of illegal slot machines were selectively prosecuted.

     Am Jur 2d, Constitutional Law §§ 735 et seq.; Criminal Law §§ 643 et seq., 831 et seq.

4.     Gambling § 33 (NCI4th)-- definition of "slot machine" -- not unconstitutionally vague

    There was no validity to defendants' argument that N.C.G.S. § 14-306 provides an unconstitutionally vague definition of prohibited "slot machines" where the statute provides sufficient notice for defendants and others to determine what conduct is proscribed.

     Am Jur 2d, Gambling §§ 82 et seq.

     Coin-operated pinball machine or similar device, played for amusement only or confining reward to privilege of free replays, as prohibited or permitted by antigambling laws. 89 ALR2d 815.

     Paraphernalia or appliances used for recording gambling transactions or receiving or furnishing gambling information as gaming "devices" within criminal statute or ordinance. 1 ALR3d 726.

     What constitutes gambling device within meaning of 15 USCS § 1171(a) so as to be subject to forfeiture under Gambling Devices Act of 1962 (15 USCS §§ 1171-1178). 83 ALR Fed. 177.

5.     District Attorneys § 4 (NCI4th)-- criminal docket -- control -- constitutional.

    Statutes granting authority to the district attorney to control the criminal docket do not violate the due process clause.

     Am Jur 2d, Prosecuting Attorneys §§ 17 et seq.

     Power of assistant or deputy prosecuting or district attorney to file information, or to sign or prosecute it in his own name. 80 ALR2d 1067.

     Limitations on state prosecuting attorney's discretion to initiate prosecution by indictment or by information. 44 ALR4th 401.

6.     Gambling § 33 (NCI4th)-- slot machine -- definition -- jury instructions

    In a prosecution for the illegal possession of a slot machine, the trial court's instructions were a proper summation of the definition of "slot machine" contained in N.C.G.S. § 14- 306 and did not fail to allow the jury to determine whether a video game machine fit within any of the exceptions to the statutory definition.

     Am Jur 2d, Gambling §§ 82 et seq.

    Coin-operated pinball machine or similar device, played for amusement only or confining reward to privilege of free replays, as prohibited or permitted by antigambling laws. 89 ALR2d 815.

     Paraphernalia or appliances used for recording gambling transactions or receiving or furnishing gambling information as gaming "devices" within criminal statute or ordinance. 1 ALR3d 726.

     What constitutes gambling device within meaning of 15 USCS § 1171(a) so as to be subject to forfeiture under Gambling Devices Act of 1962 (15 USCS §§ 1171-1178). 83 ALR Fed. 177.

    

7.    Gambling § 21 (NCI4th)-- beach bingo -- felony charges -- sufficient evidence

    There was substantial evidence to support felony beach bingo charges against defendants, the owners and manager of a beach bingo facility, where there was evidence tending to show that, although employees may have been instructed to collect a penny back from patrons who were given a $50.00 prize, defendants knew that paying $50.00 was illegal and that pennies were not always collected from such patrons. N.C.G.S. § 14-309.14(1).

     Am Jur 2d, Gambling §§ 17-19, 42.

8.     Gambling § 21 (NCI4th)-- beach bingo -- requiring five bingos during same calling -- not five games

    Requiring a beach bingo player to have four or five bingos during the same sequence of calling numbers does not convert it into five individual games so as to permit a prize in excess of $10.00.

     Am Jur 2d, Gambling §§ 17-19, 42.

    Appeal by defendants from judgments entered 2 May 1996 by Judge Orlando Hudson in Durham County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 3 June 1997.