In late July, Division of Criminal Investigation agents, with Camanche police and Iowa state patrol, arrested 10 players at a weekly poker home game. The players were charged with a Class D felony, which is punishable by five years in prison. The charge is defined as “the sum of money or other property involved exceeds $500 but does not exceed $5K.”
This case worked its way through the court system and in late November motions to dismiss the charges were filed on behalf of some of the players. It appears the state has 45 days to issue an indictment, according to Iowa law, or the court must order the prosecution to dismiss the case. This time period seems to have been exceeded.
Iowa code makes a social poker game all but impossible to keep strictly legal. The following restrictions apply. First, the players must have a bona-fide social relationship. Second, the location isn’t excluded by law. No one can pay a fee or rake to obtain access to the location or for the privilege of playing. The final requirement is that no one may win or lose more than $50 during a 24-hour period. It appears the only thing that made this game unique from any other home game in Iowa was it was held in a business belonging to one of the players. That business, A&B Storage, is in Camanche and belongs to Adrian Deering. An additional misdemeanor charge of keeping a gambling house was added to Deering’s other charge.
The other players charged are Kevin Colschen, Cory Boyer, Ryne Schubert, David James, Raymond Thomas, Ricky Devries, William Rebelsky, Douglas Partin and Billie McCullough.
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