SMITH COUNTY (KLTV) - Smith County Sheriff’s Office deputies seized at least 90 gambling machines during a raid Thursday night.
Deputies, along with law enforcement agents from multiple agencies, found the machines during a search at Lucky Tunes in Tyler. Officials seized the machines, cash and other evidence.
SCSO says search warrants were executed at Lucky Tunes Tyler in the 11000 block of Highway 64 East, along with two other residences. One residence was in the 6000 block of Plantation Drive in Tyler and at a residence in the 23000 block of Highway 64 East in the county.
The warrants stemmed from a five-month long investigation into illegal gambling and promotion of gambling at Lucky Tunes Tyler, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
KLTV was sent a statement from attorney Stuart Baggish, who is representing Lucky Tunes LLC of Tyler:“We currently have litigation against the Smith County Sheriff and one of his deputies for a September 27, 2018 search warrant based on a falsified affidavit for violating our client’s constitutional rights. We are seeking to prevent the sheriff from enforcing gambling laws against activity that is not gambling as defined bylaw. In KLTV’s new story in the background, you see a sign that says play free. Under the law, there is a no gambling because the sweepstakes are free. Free sweepstakes are legal in Texas.”
Six people were arrested at the store on promotion of gambling charges, one was arrested for gambling, four were arrested for outstanding warrants and 56 citations were issued to customers for Class C misdemeanors for the offense of gambling.
Additional search warrants and subpoenas are expected, the SCSO said. A seizure warrant was also issued for a seizure in the 11000 block of Highway 64 East due to the structure being utilized for the promotion of gambling.
The Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Smith County District Attorney’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division and Highway Patrol, Smith County Constable Precinct 3 and 5 Offices and the United States Secret Service were involved in the investigation.
The following people were taken into custody during the search:
- Wilburn, Jacquelene 08/08/1961 57 Gambling Promotion
- Johnson, Kedron 08/03/1984 34 Gambling Promotion
- Starks, Jason 09/01/1983 35 Gambling Promotion
- Caddell, Shannon 05/10/1963 55 Gambling
- Shankle, Ricky 04/06/1989 29 Gambling Promotion
- Green, Willie Jr. 11/18/1976 42 Parole Violation
- Ballard, Octavia 09/02/1988 30 Driving While Intoxicated Probation Violation
- Boatman, Darlene 05/14/1972 46 Gambling Promotion
- Harris, Demetria 12/13/1972 46 Driving While License Invalid – FTA
- Daniels, Jennifer 07/25/1977 41 Gambling Promotion
- Franklin, Tony Orlando 05/20/1962 56 Assault Causes Bodily Injury – PV
According to Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith, the office has been working the case for several months and an “extensive amount of manpower” was involved in the investigation.
Smith also said 100 people were inside of the location at the time of the raid. They each were cited for a Class C misdemeanor.of the building on Friday morning.