A Majik Market convenience store clerk was arrested Friday after the Special Operations Unit raided the Reese Road business and seized video machines., Columbus police said today.
Hitesh K. Prajati was charged with one count each of commercial gambling, keeping a place of gambling and possession of tools for commission of a crime. He was transported to the Muscogee County Jail and held on bonds totaling $12,750 for a 9 a.m. Monday hearing in Recorder’s Court.
Police Capt. Gil Slouchick of Special Operations said the arrest stems from a previous investigation into commercial gambling. “An investigation revealed that they were paying cash money to people playing the machines,” he said.
Getting cash payments for prizes is a violation of the law.
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Slouchick said agents served a search warrant at the business about 8:30 p.m. During the search, police seized four machines.
This is the fourth arrest in more than a week involving employees at convenience stores in Columbus. Three men were arrested on similar gambling related charges on June 26 and 27 at the Quik Stop, 2206 Second Ave.
Jay Chaudhary, 31, was charged with commercial gambling, keeping a place of gambling and possession of tools for commission of a crime after eight machines were seized by the Special Operations Unit. He was arrested at 9:25 a.m. June 27. On the evening before Chaudhary’s arrest, agents arrested Mitl Bhalodi, 31, and Darshan Bhalodi, 27, at the same business. Mitl Bhalodi is charged with keeping a place of gambling and Darshan Bhalodi faces charges of keeping a place of gambling, commercial gambling and possession of tools for commission of a crime.
Police said customers at that business also were given cash payments for prizes.
Shortly after the arrests, a name change went up at the Second Avenue business location. It’s now called Fuel Tech.