Father, son to be sentenced in illegal gambling operation in Roseville

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A father and son from St. Clair County are set to be sentenced next month on charges related to running an illegal gambling operation in Roseville, the Michigan Attorney General's Office announced Tuesday.

The charges filed against David John Hoppe and Lucas Hoppe in 2018 resulted from a joint investigation by the Roseville Police Department, the Michigan Attorney General and Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Investigators alleged illegal gambling at the 777 Café, with patrons placing wagers at slot-style gaming terminals that state officials did not certify or approve.

A search warrant was executed in June 2018, and investigators seized 19 gaming terminals and gaming receipts as well as an undisclosed amount of cash.

“Illegal gambling operations not only pose a threat to consumers through rigged games, but they also rob our schools and our government of essential funding,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “We have gambling regulations in place to protect our residents — and those who defy those regulations will be held accountable.”

David Hoppe and his son both were arraigned in December 2018.

Last month, a jury found David Hoppe guilty of one felony count of running an illegal gambling operation and two felony counts of using computers to commit a crime as well as a misdemeanor charge of maintaining a gambling house for gain.

The 57-year-old had pleaded guilty in 2013 to a one-year misdemeanor charge of maintaining a gaming or gambling place, state officials said Tuesday.

As part of a plea arrangement, David Hoppe agreed he would not present any gaming machines not certified as non-gambling devices, which led to dismissal of a 10-year felony charge of conducting a gambling operation where wagering was used without a license, according to the release.

“Illegal gambling operations can lead to other serious crimes,” said Richard S. Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. “In general, people are cheated, and the money earned by these facilities funds organized crime. We urge Michigan citizens to report suspected illegal gambling to local authorities or to our agency.”

Lucas Hoppe, 31, pleaded guilty Jan. 28 in Macomb County Circuit Court to a felony charge of attempting to run an illegal gambling operation, investigators said.

Three other charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

David Hoppe will be sentenced by Macomb County Circuit Court James M. Biernat Jr. on March 5.

His son will be sentenced by Judge Diane M. Druzinski on March 12.

The most serious felony charges against David Hoppe carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Lucas Hoppe could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison.