Three Oklahoma City residents are accused of gambling on pigeon races
Karen M. Clifton, 51, Richard W. Mardis, 64 and James O. Steele, 62, were charged Monday in Oklahoma County District Court with conspiracy to violate state's anti-gambling act and commercial gambling.
Three Oklahoma City residents are accused of participating in illegal gambling on pigeon races at a downtown Oklahoma City hotel in 2010.
Karen Mae Clifton, Richard Wayne Mardis and James Orr Steele each were charged Monday in Oklahoma County District Court with two counts of conspiracy to violate the state's anti-commercial gambling act and commercial gambling.
The wagering allegedly took place during a convention hosted by the American Racing Pigeon Union between Nov. 10-14, 2010, court papers state.
Investigators working for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals attended the convention and reported their findings, which included audio and video recordings, to Oklahoma City police.
Wagers were placed and money received for Belgian pools (10-1 payout); board pools (pari-mutuel-style wagering); and winner-take-all bets.
The racing pigeon union kept 15 percent of all money wagered, bet or pooled before any winnings were paid to racing participants, prosecutors said in court papers.
Clifton, 51, was listed in a probable cause affidavit as the union's executive director.
She told police she “was involved in securing the rooms, arranging for vendors and for the hospitality side” of the convention, court papers state.
Clifton said one of the rooms, referred to as Mall 167, was used for pari-mutuel wagering on the animals, court papers state.
See our commenting and posting policy.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 101218Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15357OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant tours Moore, meets with residents
- 13402Oklahoma tornadoes: ‘All I could do was sit there and hold her'
- 8724Line of storms brings flash floods to Oklahoma City area
- 8110How to help tornado victims
- 8098Oklahoma tornadoes: Love for Oklahoma generates big donation
- 8041Oklahoma tornadoes: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford leading aid effort