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Poker Players Busted for Running Illegal Game in Flatiron Apartment: Police

 Police arrested three men for running a poker game in a Flatiron apartment.
Police arrested three men for running a poker game in a Flatiron apartment.
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Shutterstock/Gelner Tivadar

FLATIRON — Police busted three men last week for running an illegal poker game out of a Flatiron apartment, the NYPD said.

An undercover officer recently joined the game in the 22nd Street apartment, between Broadway and Park Avenue South, and bought $500 in chips to play, according to a criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

Police then got a search warrant and burst into the apartment at 6:15 p.m. June 20, arresting 38-year-old Shawn Chaconas, 26-year-old Andrew Chaconas and 30-year-old Jason Lee.  The undercover officer had seen the trio distributing chips and taking cash during the earlier game, the DA's office said.

While searching the apartment, police found $1,500 in cash in a closet in the living room, where the poker games were played, according to the criminal complaint. Police also took 403 chips from the poker table and a notebook that had records of names and money amounts, the DA's office said.

Shawn Chaconas, Andrew Chaconas and Lee were charged with promoting gambling and possession of gambling records, prosecutors said.

Kristin Bruan, the lawyer representing the group, said they had done nothing wrong.

"As long as no one is profiting from the games, gambling is not illegal in New York State," Bruan said. "The criminal complaint that was drafted is insufficient. The case will end up being dismissed and sealed."

The trio is due back in court on July 28.