May 25, 2011
DANVILLE, Iowa— On May 19th the Des Moines County Sheriff Department raided a Danville, Iowa bar after receiving a complaint from a patron that illegal activity may be going on. The owners Jan and Scott Beach have now been ticketed for knowingly allowing criminal activity at the bar.
Outside, the Bucktail Lodge looks like you normal country bar but on the inside police say they're breaking the law with illegal gambling. But it's not what you might think.
"Mouse racing is entertainment, entertainment for family, friends and its something to do on a Sunday afternoon," said Scott Beach, owner of Bucktail Lodge.
"It was to make some money for the bar and have some fun," said Jan Beach, co-owner of the Bucktail Lodge.
What bar owners Scott and Jan Beach showed us as their idea of good clean fun, the Des Moines county sheriff says is illegal. Gambling without a license.
"We didn't know we were committing a criminal act, what is the act," asked Scott.
"No we don't consider it gambling at all, it's just people having fun," said Jan. "The money goes back to them. If you win, you win; if you lose, you lose."
But investigators say betting on mice is just one of many violations they found when they raided the place last week. The sheriff's department released photos showing moldy food and trash covering the basement. Police also say the Beach's have been charged before with providing alcohol to minors and health code violations.
"Nobody gets beyond the pool table if drinking a beer, so if a mouse can jump out of there (race track) go run and drop a turd in his beer he's doing something," said Scott.
When not racing, the several dozen mice are kept upstairs in aquariums. According to Jan and Scott they're treated as pets.
"It's not like they are getting ate, if you're a loser you die. Not like that at all," said Scott.
For now, police have put an end to the rodent races. The owners are headed to court believing their mice will race again in the Bucktail.
"There's no meth heads or makers around here, you just gotta mess with the mouse racers," said Scott.
The wagers bet on mice are between a dollar and two dollars a mouse. The sheriff's department says more charges are pending against Scott Beach.
In: Regional News
Tags: bar, Iowa, mouse racing, illegal activity, gambling
Location: Danville, Iowa, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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