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County mechanic charged in illegal bookmaking ring

A Suffolk County maintenance mechanic operated an illegal bookmaking ring on county time and used county vehicles to collect bets on pro and college sports, Suffolk prosecutors said Monday.

Edward Barnes, 38, of Middle Island, pleaded not guilty Saturday in First District Court in Central Islip to one felony count of possession of gambling records, the district attorney's office said. He was released without bail.

Barnes, who is employed by the county Department of Public Works, took more than five bets totaling more than $5,000 on professional football, hockey and baseball games, and professional and college basketball, prosecutors said.

Barnes could not be reached for comment Monday.

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