San Diego

Three men charged with illegally selling tickets to Pennsylvania's $100-million lottery in April pleaded innocent Monday.

The tickets were sold at two Cashland outlets operated by Gerald Mohr, 44, who along with twin brothers Anthony and Leon Casias, 39, were accused in the case.

"You cannot sell any type of lottery ticket in California except the California State Lottery," Deputy Dist. Atty. Douglas Gregg said.

Gregg said San Diegans paid $30,000 for tickets to the April 27 lottery in Pennsylvania, which had a U.S. record jackpot of more than $100 million.

Other employees of a Pennsylvania Cashland outlet bought the tickets and sent the numbers to San Diego via facsimile machine.

No one from San Diego is believed to have won the prize, but they probably would have had difficulty obtaining the jackpot because the ticket sales here were declared illegal.

The Cashland stores that sold the tickets are in Lemon Grove and Chula Vista. Hundreds of people lined up to pay for the tickets.

The defendants are each charged with one felony count, which carries a maximum three-year state prison sentence, and two misdemeanor counts of assisting in the illegal sale of lottery tickets.

San Diego Municipal Judge John Thompson allowed them to remain free on their own recognizance.

The Casias brothers gained notoriety last year when their now-defunct East-West Travel & Tours ran out of money, causing 185 junior high school students to be stranded on the East Coast. The students were from Emerald Junior High School, but other schools in San Diego also lost money when their trips were canceled because of financial problems in paying for hotel and transportation reservations.

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