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Hall store owner charged with commercial gambling
Anantkumar Patel

The owner of a Hall County convenience store has been charged with running a commercial gambling operation by issuing cash payouts to customers winning on video slot machines.

Anantkumar Patel, 40, of Lula, was arrested Friday and booked into the Hall County Jail, charged with three counts of commercial gambling, the Hall County Sheriff's Office announced in a news release today.

Acting on a tip, investigators conducted an undercover operation for about two months at East Hall Food Mart, 4590 Old Cornelia Highway in Gainesville.

A search of the business led to seizure of three slot machines and approximately $1,300 in cash.

In addition, investigators discovered 187 packages of a substance suspected to be a form of synthetic marijuana and five packages of another synthetic drug. Those substances have been sent to the crime lab for testing. Additional charges may be pending once the test results are received.

The incident remains under investigation.

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