American Legion officers charged

April 29, 2013

Three officers for American Legion Post 902 in Houston were charged Friday by the state police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement with allowing gambling inside the club.

Charged with three counts of violating the gambling laws were Randy Z. Stenger, 62, of 467 Chartiers Run Road, Chartiers Township; John R. Wolford, 71, of 254 King Air Circle, South Franklin Township; and John Thomas Lloyd, 68, of 512 Elm St., Canonsburg.

Stenger was identified in court documents filed with District Judge David Mark as the club’s commander, while Wolford was a club adjutant and Lloyd the financial officer and bartender during the time of the alleged violation last June at the club at 124 W. Pike St., Houston.

The investigation was undertaken after the LCE received a complaint about gambling and unlawful payouts.

The investigator was buzzed into the bar and showed an active legion membership card. After buying a beer, the investigator went into an area referred to as the “den,” where six video slot machines and a keno machine were located.

The investigator started talking with another patron, who had accumulated points on a Cherry Master machine. The bartender came over and paid out $45 after knocking the points off, according to the court documents.

A search warrant was served on the club Aug. 15. Six video slot machines and the keno machine were removed. Knockoff devices were reportedly found on those machines.

Charges will be sent by summons from Mark’s office. A preliminary hearing on the charges is set for May 29 before Mark.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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