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egthareal
08-11-2005, 08:25 AM
BISD employees accused of running illegal poker den

By SERGIO CHAPA
The Brownsville Herald (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/ts_more.php?id=66517_0_10_0_M)

August 11, 2005 — The alleged owners of an illegal poker den could miss the first day of school.

A Brownsville Herald investigation revealed that B-N-B Poker Supply owners William Taliancich, 33, and Cresencio Fragoso Jr., 34, work as an administrator and a coach, respectively, for two area schools.

The two men and four of their employees were arrested during a Tuesday night raid after investigators discovered Talianchich and Fragoso allegedly ran an illegal poker ring out of their business.

Police charged Taliancich and Fragoso with three Class A misdemeanor gambling charges.

Jail records show alleged poker dealers Lidice Medina, 25, Jaime Armando Perez, 36, Cid Kenneth Fragoso, 29, and Eduardo Daniel Leal, 22, were charged with gambling promotion.

All six were released Wednesday morning after posting bonds varying from $1,000 to $7,500.

Brownsville Independent School District records show that Taliancich works as a dean of instruc-tion for Oliveira Middle School while Fragoso works as a physical education coach at Gallegos Ele-mentary.

School district spokeswoman Drue Brown said she could not comment on the arrests of the two men, citing the issues as a personnel matter.

But Brown confirmed that Taliancich and Fragoso have been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the police investigation or any possible court case.

Brown also told The Herald that Taliancich worked as a dean of instruction for the last year but has been employed with the district for five years.

Fragoso worked as a coach for the last four years, but has been employed with the district for nine years.

Taliancich did not return calls for comment by press time Wednesday, but signs at B-N-B Poker Supply show that the business advertised itself as a private club for “members only.”

Brownsville Police Chief Carlos Garcia said the claim was an attempt to make his illegal business appear legitimate.

But Garcia said an undercover investigation revealed that Taliancich and Fragoso broke state gam-bling laws by making money off their patrons.

“The house was making money because they were charging $5 an hour for their customers to play at the table,” Garcia said.

According to a legal review from the Texas District and County Attorneys Association released in November, gambling is allowed in social settings if it takes place in private, the players don’t use their money to pay for any common expenses and everyone has the same chance of winning or losing.