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Virginia Billiard Hall Owner Fined for Running 'Nip Joint'

5 May 2002

CHESAPEAKE, Virginia -- May 4, 2002 -- As reported by The Virginian-Pilot: ``Billiard hall owner Barry Behrman won't serve any jail time for running casinolike parties out of his Greenbrier mansion, where authorities said illegal gambling and alcohol sales took place.

``Behrman, 56, pleaded guilty Friday in Circuit Court to two felony counts of conducting an illegal gambling operation, two misdemeanor counts of illegally selling alcohol and two counts of failing to file a certificate for a business license, also misdemeanors.

``Eight other charges, including a felony cocaine possession and a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, were dropped under the plea agreement that was accepted by Circuit Judge Bruce H. Kushner.

``Kushner sentenced Behrman to six years and four months on the convictions but suspended it on condition that he be on supervised probation for five years and pay a $1,000 fine.

```We all suffered from the bad publicity,' Behrman said after Friday's court appearance. `I spent many nights at home alone worrying.'

``Behrman, owner of Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach and founder and promoter of the U.S. Open 9-Ball Tournament, was indicted after a Dec. 2 raid on his $625,000 Audubon Circle home in the Warrington Hall subdivision.

``Police said he was collecting a $5 cover charge for people to dance, drink, gamble and play pool in a casinolike atmosphere. Court papers alleged he was selling mixed drinks for $2 and beer for $1. He also took a cut of gambling proceeds, according to court documents.

``...Behrman is to meet Monday with ABC officials about whether he can continue to hold a liquor license for his billiards hall..."

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