Nanny State

What, No SWAT Team?


Last November, acting on an anonymous tip, armed agents from California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control swooped down on the Lake Elsinore Elks Lodge to break up an illegal gambling operation. This month the ringleaders, a great-grandmother who tends bar at the lodge and a volunteer waitress who is also the lodge's secretary, will be in court to answer for their crime: organizing a $50 football pool. They face up to a $5,000 fine and one year in jail, while the lodge may lose its liquor license and/or be prohibited from holding its charity raffle. "I just didn't know it was illegal," the bartender told the Los Angeles NBC affiliate. "And they told me ignorance of the law is no excuse."

[Thanks to Thomas Paine's Goiter for the tip.]