Seven Level 6 felony counts of professional gambling (“knowingly engages in pool-selling”) were filed against Edgar Hernandez-Gonzalez, 31, Batesville, Aug. 2 in Ripley Superior Court, according to https://public.courts.in.gov/mycase, the Odyssey case management system used by Indiana courts.
Batesville Police Department Chief Stan Holt contacted Officer Curtis Beverage of the Indiana Gaming Commission Gaming Control Division July 17 about an active investigation in his jurisdiction. “Chief Holt advised his officers were preparing to serve a search warrant at a residence in Batesville in regards to a voyeurism and child pornography case,” wrote Beverage in a probable cause affidavit filed in that court Aug. 6.
“Chief Holt explained his officers and detectives had been investigating a series of voyeurism reports and had identified and ultimately arrested a suspect identified as Edgar Hernandez-Gonzalez.” He was charged with voyeurism, a Class B misdemeanor, May 21; and two counts of possession of child pornography, Level 6 felonies, July 19, according to the website.
When officers downloaded images from the man’s cellphone, not only did they find suspected pornographic images of children, but also photographs of illegal gambling records and documents, which is why Beverage was contacted.
The gaming control officer was there when BPD officers executed a search warrant at the Hernandez residence at 109 Hillenbrand Avenue, where the suspect lived with his mother.
Soon detectives found handwritten documents commonly referred to as “pool sheets,” which appeared to be for games in a Mexican soccer league. Beverage and his partner, Gaming Control Officer Alan Hayes, examined them at the scene. “Multiple games were listed across the top border of the sheets with the names of numerous bettors listed down the side margin. The interior of the sheet consisted of boxes corresponding to each game. Listed in the boxes were the bettors’ picks for the outcome of each game. Some of the sheets had actual dollar amounts listed on them.”
The gaming control officers knew these sheets related to illegal gambling, but because the writing was in Spanish, they decided to contact Gaming Control Officer Rudy Perez, who is fluent in the language. Additionally, he had conducted a previous investigation with similar sheets and betting patterns. After reviewing photos of the papers, Perez confirmed that these were indeed pool sheets.
Due to the original search warrant being related to child pornography, Beverage and Hayes decided to request another search warrant specifically for the illegal gambling activity. Shortly after they left the home to obtain that warrant, the officers were advised BPD officers had found suspected narcotics in three plastic baggies, so they added controlled substances to the second search warrant, which was signed by Ripley Circuit Court Judge Ryan King.
BPD officers remained at the scene while the second warrant was being prepared. Then around 8 p.m. the gaming control officers re-entered the residence and collected numerous pieces of illegal gambling-related evidence, including 36 pool sheets plus some copies, four suspected ledger sheets and one spiral bound notebook with notations in regards to numerous soccer games and what appeared to be ledgers. Beverage wrote, “From my training and experience as an investigator for the Indiana Gaming Commission, l know an individual simply placing bets may possess a single copy of a pool sheet in order to track their wagers in relation to other bettors, but would have no need for multiple copies of the same sheet. A ‘bookie,’ however, would need multiple copies of the same pool sheet in order to pass out to the individual bettors or for distribution back to the locations where the wagers were placed and collected.”
They also discovered graded pool sheets, where the bookie marks winning wagers and which bettor has the most points. The officers found lists of names with amounts written next to them, “which is consistent with ledgers compiled by a bookie keeping track of the money owed to him/her or to be paid out,” the court document noted.
After the suspect was arrested by BPD officers on child pornography charges July 20, Beverage interviewed him about illegal gambling at the Ripley County Jail. “l confirmed with Edgar Hernandez that he is capable of speaking and understanding the English language.”
The gaming control officer displayed one of the pool sheets and Edgar Hernandez-Gonzalez confirmed it was used to bet on soccer games in the Mexican leagues. He also discussed wagering codes – L was the local or home team, V the visiting team and an E signified the game ended in a tie.
Each bettor would mark the selection for each game on the smaller slip and he would transpose that information onto the larger pool sheet. The man confirmed that the bettor who picked the most winners and/or ties for that particular series of games would then receive the money. If there were two or more bettors that had selected the same number of winning teams, Hernandez-Gonzalez would split the money between them. He reported the wagers cost $10 each and that amount would cover all the games on a particular sheet.
The suspect admitted that he kept $20-$30 per sheet to cover his costs, spending it on food and chips, and said “he has been doing this for years, back to 2015, but claimed to have quit last year,” according to the affidavit.
The gaming control officers found pool sheets that were for games played on these dates: Sept. 29-30, 2015; May 6-8, 2016; April 7-9, 2017; Jan. 19-21, 2018; March 1-4, March 8-9 and April 19-21, 2019.
An initial hearing was held Aug. 6 before Judge Jeffrey Sharp and a warrant was issued for his arrest the next day. The defendant was being held at the jail Aug. 18, according to an officer there.
Another initial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 3.
Debbie Blank can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-717-3113.