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Bar Owner Connected to Gambling Ring

10 September 2002

HERNANDO BEACH, Florida – As reported by the St. Petersburg Times: "The owner of Chick's Beach Bar in Hernando Beach has been arrested in connection with a countywide gambling ring.

"Maurice `Chickie' Mastrototaro, 58, of 4292 Columbus Drive was charged Friday with principal to bookmaking. He was released from the Hernando County Jail on $10,000 bail about three hours after his arrest.

"The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said Mastrototaro worked with John Salvatore Peloro on an illegal gambling and bookmaking ring.

"Peloro and another Spring Hill man, Tonino Iaboni, were arrested in May after authorities said they ran a gambling and narcotics ring from Hernando County, taking $50,000 bets and smuggling $30,000 to $50,000 worth of cocaine into the county every week.

"…Peloro, who drove a $58,000 Corvette convertible and owned two houses in Hernando, including one in Hernando Beach, admitted to making an average of $200,000 a year in bookmaking over the past two years, authorities said…"

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