The proprietor of Captain Jack’s Crab Shack in Byron was ordered to serve two years in prison Wednesday after being found guilty of commercial gambling by a Peach County jury last month.
The now-closed eatery on Chapman Road along Interstate 75 was the focus of a 2015 police investigation into illegal gaming allegations.
Ronald D. Bartlett, 73, the owner who was also convicted of possessing a gambling device or equipment and keeping a gambling place, could have faced up to seven years behind bars. His sentence includes three years on probation, and though he was taken into custody at Wednesday’s sentencing, he could be freed if he posts a $50,000 bond to remain under house arrest while his lawyers appeal the conviction.
Prosecutors in the case against Bartlett have said a plainclothes cop made secret recordings during undercover visits to the restaurant. During those visits, the officer played games and was given cash winnings, which is illegal. Game-machine payouts are, by law, supposed to be doled out in the form of store merchandise, lottery tickets or gasoline.
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