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4 elderly men charged with poker cheating scheme at Canterbury

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Four men in their 70s are accused of a cheating scheme while playing poker at Canterbury Park in Shakopee last summer.

One of the four men, Duane L. Racle, 75, of Lake City, Florida, (pictured) was arrested Wednesday and is being held in the Scott County jail on $50,000 bail, according to the county jail roster. He's charged with aiding and abetting gambling by altering the chance of a game.

The other three men – James Minehan, 75, and Wildred Sanchez, 74, both of Florida, and Nicholas Crowder, 77, of Ferndale, Michigan – have also been charged, but their whereabouts are unknown.

According to the criminal complaint:

On July 4, 2013, three of the men sat at a three-card poker table – one of them would distract the dealer while the other two, who were seated next to each other, would palm the cards and swap them under the table.

The fourth man stood behind the two swapping cards in an attempt to block them from surveillance cameras.

The foursome did this three times in less than an hour, netting just over $200.

That night, the pit manager discovered the foursome was working together to cheat. Surveillance cameras captured the four men leaving in the same vehicle.

Photos from the casino were distributed to law enforcement officials nationwide, which led to the suspects being identified and then charged, FOX 9 reports.

Each suspect has a long criminal history, which includes many convictions of cheating at gambling across the country dating back several years, the complaint says.

Although the group didn't walk away with loads of money, the casino pursued them vigorously to keep up the casino's credibility, Canterbury Park spokesman Jeff Maday told the Star Tribune.

“Integrity is important,” Maday told the newspaper. “It’s important if you are another one of the players. You want to know that the game is legit.”

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