Posted: Feb 12, 2021, 3:27 am.

Last update on: February 12, 2021, 3:51 am.

Philip Conneller

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A Pennsylvania state soldier whose job it was during the day to patrol the Mohegan Sun Pocono on the outskirts of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania wore a different hat at sunset. At night he promoted prostitution and illegal gambling as the owner of the Sinners Swing Strip Club in nearby Mayfield.


Penn. State trooper Robert Covington Jr. (pictured at his trial Thursday) was paid to enforce state gambling laws in the Mohegan Sun. In the meantime, he was operating illegal slots at his Mayfield strip club. (Image: Christopher Dolan / Scranton Times)

The 48-year-old soldier Robert Covington Jr. was accused on Thursday by a nationwide grand jury of leading a corrupt organization, conspiracy to promote prostitution, operate illegal playground equipment, deal with the proceeds of illegal activities, and use a cell phone criminal to use and lie to a state trooper and fail to declare ownership of the club on a state financial disclosure form.

The 13-year-old Pennsylvania State Police veteran was assigned to the Bureau of Gaming Enforcement. He is currently suspended without pay.

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Covington is one of four people charged with various crimes related to the strip club’s operations. The others are co-owner David Klem, 39; Covington’s friend and the club’s manager, Michael Ball, 49; and Deanna Tallo, 32, a stripper at the club.

Klem, who travels with Flava Dave, has spent time in jail selling drugs from the back room of his pizza place, while Tallo is convicted of smuggling drugs and tobacco into Lackawanna County Jail.

The defendants were tried before the District Court Judge Laura Turlip. The preliminary hearings are scheduled for February 23 at 12:00 noon.

According to the charges, the strippers earned no salaries, only tips. They were given bigger tips for private dancing and even more tips for “extras” – sexual acts that encouraged management to perform in the club’s VIP rooms for high-spending customers. One dancer told the grand jury that she could make $ 2,000 to $ 4,000 a week with extras.

In March, state forces seized five illegal video terminals from the premises after undercover agents saw them pay out jackpots between $ 15 and $ 160.

Not so quiet partner

According to the charges, Covington was often present when customers paid for sexual acts and played on the machines. In fact, prosecutors believe he played a significant role in managing the operation, despite the fact that he walked away as the official owner in papers filed with the state.

But in February last year, he boasted to a colleague, “Did I tell you that I was a silent partner in a strip club? I cut myself in half with my boyfriend in 2018. I told him I couldn’t have a hand in day-to-day operations until I hit my 20 year old mark. I almost earn my PSP salary there. “

Covington made $ 98,228 a year as a state trooper, according to The Citizen Voice.

In 2016, Covington was accused of raping a former Mohegan Sun cocktail waitress Christine Cromer in his car outside the casino. Cromer was later found guilty of wrongful rape and imprisoned.