Seized assets returned to Columbiana business

LISBON – Two years after they were seized, several items – including more than $12,000- taken from the 7&14 Family Restaurant in Columbiana during a gambling device raid were ordered to be released.

A court document signed by Judge Scott Washam in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court this week lists many of the items seized from the business, which can now be released. These items include a cash counting machine, a stool and file folders of financial documents.

Additionally, the order includes $12,100 in cash, which was reportedly taken from two cash registers, under a cash drawer, a safe and a box.

Not included in the list of items being returned are the gambling machines, to which Assistant County Prosecutor Don Humphrey Jr. said ownership was never determined. Additionally, police held on to other items believed to be gambling related.

The raid followed an investigation first by Columbiana police and then the state attorney general’s office, which sent undercover agents to document gambling activity at the business.

A search warrant was served in June 2011 following six months of investigation. Six slot machine-type gambling machines were reportedly seized at that time.

Two employees of the restaurant, women who reportedly had made payouts of more than the $10 legal limit, had faced charges of skill based amusement machines, but both were dismissed. The owner of the business. Randall T. Webster, was not charged.

Webster filed the motion to have his property returned with the assistance of his attorney John F. Shultz.