State Police link numerous men to illegal Baton Rouge gambling hall

Louisiana News

Photo: 5th Street Social/Facebook

BATON ROUGE, La. (BR Proud) — Louisiana State Police have arrested five men in connection to operating an illegal gambling den. The Gaming Enforcement Division said the principal operators of 5th Street Social Club, 15450 George O’Neal Lane, were taken into custody over the span of two days.

On Feb. 22, Troopers arrested Wayne Neyland (also known as “Uber Wayne”), 43, of Denham Springs and Jack Hardesty, 38, of Prairieville. The following day, John Brewster, 41, along with Ryan Westmoreland, 33, and Darren Ortego, 31, all of Denham Springs were taken into custody.

Investigators determined the five individuals “participated through various recruitment, financing, advertisement, and coordination of daily operations,” according to a release.

Facebook post dated Feb. 20, 2021.

A Facebook page belonging to 5th Street Social Club shows numerous posts encouraging people to attend poker games and tournaments with a cash buy-in.

A webpage for 5th Street Social said the venue is a members-only private club and is funded by membership dues. Monthly dues were listed as $10 per month along with a $10 per hour facility fee.

“Half No limit Holdem cash game going….get your seat at 5th Street,” reads the Facebook post dated Feb. 20.

The five individuals are each charged with one count of LRS 14:90 Gambling which carries a maximum fine of $500, maximum jail time of six months, or both. A gambling charge in Louisiana must show that five or more people are involved in an organized venture and remain in continuous operation for a period of thirty days or more or, have a gross revenue of two thousand dollars in any single day.

Troopers said the arrests brought an “extensive criminal case to conclusion.” The five individuals have since bonded out of jail.

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