Pea-Shake Raid May Result In Charges

Police: Gambling House Persists

The alleged operators and patrons of a house that police said is long known to host pea-shake gambling could face charges as soon as this week.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office plans to charge as many as a dozen people who were arrested or cited at the home in the 3700 block of North Keystone Avenue last week, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported.

Police raided the home nine days ago, but it apparently reopened for business the next day.

For years, the heavily fortified home equipped with surveillance cameras was widely known as a pea-shake house, a gambling game deemed illegal in Indiana, police said.

A business at the home called M&W Distributors sells pull tabs, bingo cards and tip books, said Indianapolis police Lt. Tom Black.

"It's basically a nice sign that's fronting as a legitimate business, which in fact is an illegal gambling establishment," Black said. "It's the same old pea-shake that's wrapped in a different package."

Police arrested six people last week on gambling charges and 10 others were cited for visiting a common nuisance.

"I found all of the paraphernalia of a pea-shake house -- pull tabs, tickets, the peas," Black said.

Police raided the same home three times last year, arresting dozens of people, including those who they said owned, operated and patronized the establishment.

Officers confiscated thousands of dollars, seized equipment and guns, but a judge dismissed all of the cases, citing problems with search warrants and witnesses.

More than a week after the latest raid, prosecutors have yet to file charges.

"We're taking this case a little bit more slowly. We want to look at the evidence and make sure we can win in court," said Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Helen Marchal.