Region digest 02/13/02

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Admissions and revenue up overall at casinos

ST. LOUIS -- Gamblers left behind more money at Missouri casinos in January, figures from the Missouri Gaming Commission showed.

The monthly revenue report for the state agency that oversees gambling showed that admissions in January increased 7 percent from January 2001 to 4,035,100. But gamblers lost about $97.6 million, 13 percent more than the $86 million lost a year earlier. The average gambler lost $53.30.

Revenue improved at five casinos and decreased at four. The Mark Twain Casino in La Grange in northeast Missouri opened in July and the Isle of Capri-Boonville in mid-Missouri opened in December.

The biggest winners were the Ameristar St. Charles and the President in St. Louis, both taking in nearly 17 percent more than a year ago. The Isle of Capri-Kansas City gained about 16 percent.

Revenue dipped 4 percent at both the Casino Aztar in Caruthersville.

Sikeston charter ready to go before voters

SIKESTON, Mo. -- After approving a few minor changes and hashing out one final issue during Monday's meeting, the Home Rule Charter commissioners approved a city charter for voters to accept or reject April 2.

Nine commissioners present for the vote approved the charter. Two were absent and two left before the vote was taken.

References to the mayor being "appointed" by council members were revised to use the word "selected" after much discussion.

Commissioners also approved language explaining that if the voters decide to have the mayor elected at large, the existing charter language will stand, but if voters decide to have the mayor continue to be selected from among the council by fellow council members, the charter's language will be revised to reflect the change.

Jackson man pleads guilty to meth charges

A Jackson man admitted to a judge Monday that he helped hatch a plot to manufacture methamphetamine.

Danny Moll, 31, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. He appeared Monday in U.S. District Federal Court before Judge Rodney W. Sippel.

With his plea, Moll admitted that between July 1999 and May 2000 he, co-conspirator Deborah Ing and others agreed to gather ingredients and make methamphetamine.

Ing pleaded guilty to the same charges on Dec. 3.

Moll said his role in the conspiracy was to obtain pseudoephedrine pills and provide them to Ing.

Officers arrested Moll and Ing in May 2000 in a hotel in Marion, Ill., where they had set up a meth lab.

Moll now faces a maximum punishment of life in prison and possible fine of $4,000,000. Ing faces the same punishment.

Ing is scheduled to be sentenced March 4. Sentencing for Moll is set for May 6.

Sikeston man sentenced for selling crack cocaine

A man was sentenced to prison Monday in U.S. District Federal Court by Judge Rodney W. Sippel.

Walter Rainey, 48, of Sikeston, Mo., was sentenced to nearly four years in prison on three felony counts of distributing cocaine base.

Rainey was found guilty of selling cocaine base to a confidential informant in Sikeston on Jan. 23, Feb. 2 and Feb. 22, 2001.

Portageville man pleads guilty to drug charges

A Southeast Missouri man pleaded guilty to drug charges after police found cocaine in his freezer.

Portageville resident Telly C. Luster, 28, entered a plea of guilty to one felony count of possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base.

He appeared Monday in U.S. District Federal Court before Judge Rodney W. Sippel.

Police searched Luster's home Aug. 24 and found approximately 11.64 grams of cocaine base in a dresser and in the freezer section of the refrigerator.

He now faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment and a $4,000,000 fine. Sentencing is set for May 6.

-- From staff, wire reports

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