Sixty-two-year-old Joseph Alan Mohwish was arrested May 6, 2009, on commercial gambling charges. He maintains that a 2008 state license to operate raffles for non-profits meant his operation was legal.
The raffle was allegedly held for the Michigan Barber College in Detroit at the Rossville address of 303 Chickamauga Ave.
That same month Mohwish and two others were indicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act for operating a “commercial gambling enterprise from Jan. 1 to Mar. 2, 2009 for two Rossville locations using video gaming systems.
Mohwish is appealing to the court to reinstate his civil lawsuit against the district attorney and local law enforcement, which was dismissed in June 2011.
He also cites that the RICO raid seized his entire appeal paperwork for the raffle indictment.
Mohwish had 20 minutes to plead the case before the seven justices on Tuesday morning, May 8. District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin did not attend.
He maintains the arrest as unconstitutional and that “the city of Rossville had no jurisdiction” for his raffle.
“In a desperate attempt to destroy (Mohwish’s) business, Franklin and (Rossville police Chief) Sid Adams have set out to obstruct (my) right to litigate this action along with destroying his right to defend his criminal trial,” Mohwish wrote in the appeal.
He maintains that he has done nothing illegal.
The justices have two calendar terms (until December 2012) to give a final verdict in the appeal, according to Jane Hansen, spokeswoman for the Georgia Supreme Court.
Mohwish was also arrested in 2004 for operating an adult bookstore, Exciting News Videos and Magazines, within 1,000 feet of a church.
In 2005, following a six-month investigation, 63 poker machines were seized from three Rossville locations, including 303 Chickamauga Ave., which was called “Jumbo Games” at the time, owned by his son, Joe Mohwish II.