Police bust north Georgia gambling operation

3:04 PM, Feb 5, 2014   |    comments
(l-r) Sanjayakumar Patel, Jinendra Patel and Phillip Barnette
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CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Four people were arrested and drugs and money were seized during a raid on an illegal gambling operation in Bartow and Whitfield counties.

The Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force teamed up with the Dalton Police Department, GBI, ICE and Homeland Security to investigate the activity.

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Task Force Commander Mark Mayton said three search warrants were served at Burnt Hickory Grocery and Deli and the adjoining Tobacco Mart on Burnt Hickory Road in Cartersville. Investigators found methamphetamine and what they believed to be proceeds from illegal gambling inside the stores.

Police also raided a house on Springmont Drive in Cartersville, where they found more money.

More than 200 packets of synthetic marijuana were recovered from another store, Discount Tobacco and Food Mart on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Dalton, while 1,118 packets of synthetic marijuana were found in an apartment on Stone Mill Drive in Cartersville.

Mayton said police also gathered information that led them to two safe deposit boxes containing money and foreign passports.

Three suspects were booked into the Bartow County Jail. Sanjayakumar Patel, 40, who lives in the Springmont Drive home, was charged with selling controlled substances. Immigration charges are pending.

Jinendra Patel, 51, has been charged with commercial gambling and keeping a place of gambling. Phillip Barnette, 41, was charged with probation violation and methamphetamine possession.

The fourth suspect, Dhansukh Bhika, was charged with possession of a controlled substance. He is being held in the Whitfield County Jail.

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