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Police Raid Bar Owned by State Delegate

No charges filed after video devices linked to alleged illegal gambling seized, investigation continues.

UPDATED (5:09 p.m.)—Video devices linked to alleged illegal gambling were seized late last month from a Dundalk bar owned by Del. Joseph "Sonny" Minnick" and his brother.

Det. Cathy Batton, a police spokeswoman, said Thursday detectives raided Minnick's Restaurant, located in the 7100 block of Sollers Point Road, around 7:30 p.m. June 29.

Five video game devices were seized.

"No charges have been filed at this time," Batton said. "It's an ongoing investigation. We do expect to file charges at the end of the investigation."

Del. Joseph "Sonny" Minnick, his wife Barbara Jean Minnick and brother Daniel Minnick are listed as owners of the restaurant, according to county liquor license records.

Elise Armacost, a police spokeswoman, declined to comment on whether or not the state delegate was a target of detectives, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Josephy "Sonny" Minnick, a 6th District Democrat, declined to comment on the investigation when reached by phone Thursday afternoon.

"I don't want you to run this story," Minnick said. "I won't talk to you in the future."

A female tending bar at the restaurant Thursday said Daniel Minnick runs the day-to-day operations. The bartender declined to give her name.

The investigation of the restaurant apparently began in May after county liquor board officials received complaints, according to Mike Mohler, administrator of the county liquor board.

"The complaint said that Minnick's is paying off on video poker machines and have been for some time," Mohler said.

Mohler said the liquor board forwarded the complaint to police and will explore potential penalties if and when there is a conviction involving the case.

Minnick's has no prior complaints in front of the liquor board, Mohler said.

"They are 100 percent clean from what I can tell," Mohler said.

County law limits the number of video entertainment devices, excluding jukeboxes and pool tables, to four.

There are four such devices licensed to Minnick's Restaurant, according to county records.

The devices—two Fruit Bonus machines, a Cherry Master and a poker machine—are similar to machines seized in the past by county police during illegal gaming probes.

County permit records show that machines were owned by restaurant rather than leased.

Don Brand, the county's chief code administrator, said all four licenses were signed by Daniel Minnick Jr., brother of the state delegate.

Dundalkwatchdog July 11, 2011 at 03:53 PM
@ Robert. The article says Minnicks owns their own machines. Also. The govt collects 10& tax on evvery dollar as an amusement tax. What would happen if they stop collecting that tax along with the licensing fee for 1400 machines. Sounds like They are shooting themselves in the foot.
Buzz Beeler July 11, 2011 at 06:36 PM
Dundalk, there's a lot of collateral damage when you aim a 50 cal at those feet. The underlying question is what lead to this situation. Politics is a nasty business. Sonny has been leaning more to the conservative side and not towing the liberal party line. In a Dundalk Eagle article from 7/7on the alcohol tax, Sonny said it was a "bad time to raise taxes on anyone." He also did not support the Dream Act. Both of these issues were O'Malley's pet projects. So what you have is O'Malley = Kamenetz = Olszewski 2X's = the answer to this raid. Something triggered this and I would love to see the paper work that lead to this raid. They don't even go after drug dealers with that kind of firepower. I can testify to that personally. Figure this one out? All of the usual suspects were present at the ribbon cutting for the Heritage Park Gazebo, which by the way was rather late in getting done. They make Vontran out to be a hero but say nothing about the Seagrams property he owns and the blight it cast over the area, not to mention the numerous arson fires that were started. Does that make any sense? Tears came to my eyes when Kamenetz cut his thumb at the ribbon cutting ceremony. They never miss a chance for a photo-op despite what the real picture reveals.
amdactivist July 11, 2011 at 08:34 PM
thresa, your absolutely right. I am on 2 forums at once. my comment was directed to Dutch ruppersberger on another forum consernning obamacare. Sonny Minnick is an ok guy. Been around the block many years with him and he's not the typical liberal democrat. He does reason very well although we' ve disagreed on quite a few issues.. Dutch on the other hand!!
Tiffany July 14, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Mr. Beeler, 100% agreed! I'm curious as to the amount of crime we have in this neighborhood, why this took priority?
David Park August 25, 2011 at 01:29 AM
I'm curious to know how many the commentators who support gambling have spent any real time in any of the neighborhood bars to witness the addictive nature of these games? For years I spent the first hour of the day having coffee at the 'Opposite Sidewalk Saloon' on W. Pratt and S. Carey Streets and got to witness first hand the hundreds of dollars people poured into these video poker machines hoping for a pay off (all the bars pay off albeit surreptitiously - they all pay off). Many times those playing the game could barely stand up but Derrick Heald, the proprietor was more than willing to take their last dime. And since the bar was most crowded at the beginning of the month when gov't checks came out, the money being spent certainly was not discretionary. The atheist barowner laughed behind their backs (I personally witnessed Derrick do so) as his patrons dropped hundreds of dollars into those evil schemes. Gambling is no benign vice as some would have you believe, and the 'mob' of Maryland... I mean... State of Maryland has in no way any business supporting, encouraging, or promoting (last time I checked the md. state lottery spent +15million/year advertising - "you gotta' play to lose") such fiscal irresponsibility in our citizens.

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