January 23, 2019
DETROIT - Three St. Clair County residents waived their preliminary exam today in Macomb County‘s 39th District Court and will head to Macomb County Circuit Court on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.
The trio allegedly conducted an illegal gambling operation during 2018 at the 777 Café, 32488 Gratiot Ave., Roseville. The charges resulted from a joint investigation by the Roseville Police Department, the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).
Following their Dec. 6 arraignment, father and son David Hoppe, 53, and Lucas Hoppe, 29, both of China Twp., were released on bond. The third defendant, Denise M. Hagan, 64, of Mussey Twp., was released on bond after a Dec. 19 arraignment. The most serious felony charges they face carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The joint investigation began following a series of tips. Investigators allege illegal gambling was taking place with patrons placing wagers at slot-style gaming terminals, which David Hoppe reportedly claimed were certified and approved by the MGCB. (They were not.)
A search warrant was executed at the cafe in June and investigators seized 19 gaming terminals, gaming receipts and an undisclosed amount of cash.
“Gambling is a highly regulated industry in our state and we are committed to ensuring that any and all gaming is conducted according to the law,” Nessel said.
“This investigation demonstrates a high level of cooperation between the City of Roseville, the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Gaming Control Board,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director. “We thank the public for their assistance in reporting illegal gambling.”
All defendants were charged with the following:
In 2013, David Hoppe pled guilty in 72nd District Court to a one-year misdemeanor charge of maintaining a gaming or gambling place. As part of a plea arrangement, David Hoppe agreed he would not make available to the public any gaming machines not certified as non-gambling devices by either the MGCB or a laboratory the MGCB deemed eligible to test and certify such machines. The agreement led to dismissal of a 10-year felony charge of conducting a gambling operation where wagering was used without a license.
Michigan residents are urged to report illegal or suspicious gambling activity through the MGCB’s anonymous tip line, 888-314-2682.
PLEASE NOTE: A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.