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Michael T. Vento, then owner of the Internet Access Depot, is seen here in a 2009 file photo taken during his trial in 3rd Judicial District Court in Las Cruces. His conviction for running an illegal gambling operation was eventually overturned, but the New Mexico Supreme Court now is being asked to reinstate his felony conviction.
SANTA FE >> Two justices of the New Mexico Buy Anadrol Cheap Supreme Court said Tuesday they were convinced that businessman Michael T. Vento ran "Ansomone 100iu" a thinly disguised gambling den in Las Cruces.
But Vento's lawyer urged the five member Supreme Court not to reinstate his felony conviction for commercial gambling. The defense contends the trial judge botched Vento's case with unfair instructions to Deca Durabolin O Equipoise the jury.
Vento, now 64, owned an Internet caf that also offered sweepstakes games for cash prizes. He said his business essentially was no different from the contests that Albertsons grocery and McDonald's offer to attract customers.
The state Gaming Control Board disagreed. It raided Vento's Internet caf in 2008 and seized all 21 of his computer terminals.
With his equipment taken away, Vento had to close his business, Internet Access Depot, 1434 Missouri Ave. Later, the Doa Ana County district attorney prosecuted him for commercial gambling.
A jury convicted Vento of one count, a fourth degree felony. But the state Court of Appeals reversed his conviction last year, based on the way District Judge Lisa C. Schultz conducted Vento's trial."We determine that the district court erred when it instructed the jury on the charge of commercial gambling based upon the alternative yet factually inapplicable theory of betting," a three member panel of the appeals court said in its decision. "Since we Buy Cialis Germany are unable to discern the theory upon which the jury's finding of guilt was based, we reverse defendant's conviction."
Assistant Attorney General Jacqueline R. Medina asked the Supreme Court to reinstate Vento's conviction, saying whether he permitted betting or ran something similar to a lottery was not crucial. Medina said the key point was "Oxandrolone Powder India" that Vento operated a sizable and illegal gambling business.
She said more than $800,000 "was moving back and forth" between Vento and his patrons at the Internet cafe.
Justices Charles Daniels and Barbara Vigil said the fine points about what sort of gambling was Deca Durabolin For Sale Canada going did not seem relevant.
Daniels likened Vento's case to one in which a man armed with Jintropin (Gensci Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.) a lead pipe and baseball bat assaults someone. Does it matter which weapon was used in the crime, or simply that a crime was committed? Daniels said.
He said the evidence showed that the principal Comprar Levitra part of Vento's business was gambling, not renting time on computer terminals to people surfing the Internet.
Vento's public defender, Mary Barket, said no betting occurred at Vento's business. Customers qualified for sweepstakes prizes of up to $3,000 when they bought time on computer terminals.
Barket said state law distinguishes the different types of gambling, so the jury should have received a precise instruction, not a general one.
Justice Edward L. Chavez was receptive to Barket's point.
"If there was legally insufficient evidence of betting, why should it go to the jury?" he asked the prosecution.
Gov. Susana Martinez was the district attorney of Doa Ana County when Vento was charged. Her staff prosecuted Vento and obtained the conviction that subsequently was reversed.
Milan Simonich, Santa Fe Bureau chief of Texas New Mexico Newspapers, can be reached at 505 820 6898.