Romulus Woman Awaits Sentencing For Illegal Gambling Operation in Michigan

Written By Drew Ellis on April 5, 2023
Michigan illegal gambling case

Sentencing will be handed down Thursday, April 6, in another illegal gambling case in Michigan.

Connie Durham, 69, of Romulus faces sentencing at Washtenaw County Circuit Court after she pleaded guilty to one felony count of gambling operations. Durham was the owner of a former Ypsilanti illegal gambling location.

Thursday’s sentencing will be the latest in the continued illegal gambling crackdown effort by Michigan Gaming Control Board and state law enforcement.

Michigan authorities seized 37 illegal gambling machines in Ypsilanti

Durham operated Stony Creek, a business located at 2040 Whittaker, Suite 5 in Ypsilanti Township.

Warrants were served to Durham following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the MGCB.

Altogether, Durham forfeited $6,012 in cash and gift cards, as well as 37 gaming machines and computers from her business.

“Illegal gambling operations typically target vulnerable people and don’t offer patron protections such as self-exclusion options, reviewed and approved games and machines or dispute resolution,” said Henry Williams, Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director, in a press release. “An illegal gambling operation also can attract other types of crime to neighborhoods including illegal drugs and human trafficking.”

Durham was originally charged in August 2022 with four felony counts of gambling operations. She was also charged with two counts of using a computer to commit a crime and one high court misdemeanor charge of maintaining a gambling house for gain.

Durham pled guilty on Feb. 7 to a single felony charge of gambling operations.

Multiple employees charged in Michigan illegal gambling operation

Along with charges for Durham, charges were also filed to four of her employees.

  • Cecil E. Roberson, 77, of Ypsilanti: Two felony counts of gambling operations and using computers to commit a crime. A high court misdemeanor of maintaining a gambling house for gain.
  • Timothy B. Reardon, 43, of Ypsilanti: Four felony counts of gambling operations. Two felony counts of using computers to commit a crime. One high court misdemeanor of maintaining a gambling house for gain.
  • Angela M. Amperez-Lopez, 35, of Ypsilanti: One felony count of gambling operations. One felony count of using computers to commit a crime. One high court misdemeanor of maintaining a gambling house for gain.
  • Beverly M. Weatherspoon, 67, of Ypsilanti: One felony count of gambling operations. Two felony counts of using computers to commit a crime. One high court misdemeanor of maintaining a gambling house for gain.

“Illegal gambling diverts taxes and revenue from our communities which is otherwise used to support our state and schools,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “My office remains committed to upholding our state’s gambling laws and appreciates the hard work of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.”

MGCB, Michigan law enforcement cracking down on illegal gambling

The MGCB and state law enforcement have been busy over the last year.

In February, former Flint police chief William Bradford Barksdale pleaded no contest to illegal gambling charges.

Also in February, over $23,000 and 36 machines were seized in a Delta Township raid for illegal gambling.

Last January, professional poker player Joshua T. Thatcher was sentenced to 12 months of probation for his role in an illegal poker room.

In June, three Michiganders were sentenced to jail time or probation for running an illegal gambling operation in Flint.

Flint also was part of an August raid where more than $10,000 and 60 devices were confiscated from an illegal gambling operation.

The public can report alleged illegal gambling by contacting the MGCB at 1-888-314-2682 or [email protected].

Photo by Shutterstock.com
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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