11 Nabbed by Police in Gambling Raids

Lottery and Gambling - Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – February 14, 1938

7 Arrested in Bingo Numbers Racket; 4 Seized in Betting Place

Ten men and a woman were arrested in gambling raids over the weekend by Camden city and county authorities.

Seven were arrested for operating a “bingo numbers” racket. A warrant also was issued for Frank Palese, 400 Spruce street, a member of a widely known South Camden family, as the “big shot” of the racket, according to Chief Lawrence T. Doran, of county detectives. Doran said last night Palese is still a fugitive.

In another raid by Camden police, three men and a woman were arrested in an alleged horse racing betting establishment at 1149 Lansdowne avenue. The place was on the second floor over a grocery store, according to Sergeant Gus Koerner, City Detective Thomas Murphy, Jr., and Patrolman James McLaughlin, who made the raid. Koerner and Murphy also figured in the second raid.

Several racing forms and four telephones with two direct wires to tracks now in operation were seized, according to Koerner and Murphy, The police first arrested Roland Flynn, 36, of 589 Carman street ; Neil Zeldman, 43, of 1064 Langham avenue, and James O’Donal, 27, of. 1119 Empire avenue, and held them in $1000 bail for violating the State crimes act.

Woman Arrested

Later Mrs. Rose Koplin, 37, who lives in an apartment over the store, was taken into custody on the same charge and held in $500 bail. Mrs. Koplin’s brother, Milton Katz, posted cash bail for her release.

Katarina Pologruto, 420 West street, posted bail for O’Donal, who also is known as O’Donnell, and Flynn. Frank Davalos, saloonkeeper, of 441 Benson street, furnished bail for Zeldman.

Murphy reported that $700 had been bet on race horses at the establishment up until 3.30 p. m., Saturday, the time of the raid.

Among those arrested in the “bingo numbers” racket was Fred Rossi, who fought in the prize ring under the name of “Pee Wee” Ross. He was arrested Saturday afternoon at his home at 438 Mickle street by Koerner and Murphy.

O’Donal, Flynn, Zeidman and Mrs. Koplin will be given hearings today in police court. Others under arrest in the lottery game their names and addresses as Joseph Marino, 288 Chestnut street ; Harry Girard, 446 Pine street; Peter Branco, 1109 South Third street; Donald Goodman, of Woodlynne; Irving Chapman, 43 South Merchant street, Merchantville, and John Holmes, 227 Main street, Merchantville. An eighth man, James Lodge, Brooklawn, was questioned and released as a material witness.

Rossi, Branco, Goodman and Holmes were released in $500 bail each for the Grand Jury by Justice of the Peace Samuel Rudolph. Prosecutor Orlando said he would demand bail of $1000 each for release of Girard and Marino.

Refused to Sell

Lodge told the detectives he was approached to sell the slips but that he refused to take them.

Doran stated that Marino insists he is the operator of the lottery, but the county detective chief declared that Marino was merely trying to “take the rap” for Palese.

City and county authorities have been aware of the existence of the new racket for about 10 days. Murphy and Koerner had been detailed specifically by Commissioner Mary W. Kobus to investigate and break up the ring. The two sleuths followed numerous suspects, watching where they went, and getting a list of stops and suspects.

The trap was sprung when Marino, Girard, Chapman and Holmes were arrested on South Centre street in Merchantville as they sat in a parked car. The car, according to Doran, bore license plates issued to Palese.

Merchantville police and Doran arrested the four and seized bingo numbers slips. Murphy and Koerner also arrested Branco, while County Detectives James Mulligan, Elmer Mathis, Wilfred Dube and Casimir Wojtkowiak arrested Goodman.

Doran admitted that the automobile in which the four men were found was the property of Palese. A search was made at the home of Palese, on Fourth street, near Spruce, but nothing indicating he was connected with the racket was found, Doran said. But Doran added he has information which leads him to believe Palese was the head of the new racket.


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