ILLEGAL GAMBLING: FELONY ARRESTS MADE DURING SIMULTANEOUS ILLEGAL GAMBLING OPERATION RAIDS EXECUTED IN PINE BLUFF/JEFFERSON COUNTY, ARKANSAS
Frankie Jemal Shaw
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.
Operation Commander/Public Information Officer
ILLEGAL GAMBLING: FELONY ARRESTS MADE DURING SIMULTANEOUS ILLEGAL GAMBLING OPERATION RAIDS EXECUTED IN PINE BLUFF/JEFFERSON COUNTY, ARKANSAS: Jefferson County, Arkansas - August 30, 2017 - $4,756.00 USC and more than 77 motherboards removed from gambling devices said to be illegal have been seized at multiple locations as part of a joint enforcement operation conducted by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Tri-County Drug Task Force, and Pine Bluff Police Department’s Vice & Narcotics Division late Tuesday.
For the last two weeks, the sheriff’s office along with the Tri-County Drug Task Force and Pine Bluff Police Department’s Vice & Narcotics Division have been investigating illegal gambling operations throughout the county in conjunction with Prosecutor Kyle Hunter and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Juneau of the 11th Judicial West Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in Jefferson County, Arkansas.
Intelligence received led to the execution of two at the following locations:
8213 Highway 63 South, Jefferson County, Arkansas
3510 W. 6th Avenue, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
The sheriff’s office along with partnering law enforcement officers from the Pine Bluff Police Department’s Vice & Narcotics Division conducted an investigation of this nature in 2013, where between the two agencies 600 machines were seized from 15 separate locations. The execution of search warrants at these locations resulted in the arrest of 24 individuals and the seizure of an estimated $500,000.00 USC. However, hoping to make an even greater enforcement impact on the illegal establishments, authorities on this occasion citied 20 patrons. Patrons at both locations were cited for violation of Arkansas Code Annotated A.C.A. § 5-66-106. Gaming devices – Betting, a Class A misdemeanor criminal offense. Additionally, authorities arrested 28-year-old Zachery Smith for violation of A.C.A. 5-66-103. Keeping a gambling house, a Class D felony criminal offense punishable by a prison term of zero to six years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.00. Smith was determined to be the sole operator of 8213 Highway 63 South, Jefferson County, Arkansas.
Meanwhile, 69-year-old Henry Gipson, 57-year-old Joyce Moore, and 35-year-old Frankie Jemal Shaw, individuals determined to be the joint operators of 3510 W. 6th Avenue in Pine Bluff, Arkansas were also arrested for “keeping a gambling house”. Those arrested were all transported to the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center and held on felony probable cause.
“We don’t make laws, we enforce them and according to Arkansas law these establishments have been operating illegally. Not only is it illegal but more importantly, these type of establishments continue to negatively affect our community and its image by taking needed resources for personal gain. Since legalizing gambling, our society has become addicted in one form or another,” said Major Lafayette Woods, Jr. “Gambling addiction is a silent addiction and the negative affects are never felt in the short run.”
"Other establishments said to be operating will soon be visited, as these investigations are on-going and we will not stop until the message that gambling is illegal is clear to all those who dare try. We remain vigilant of every location operating in this fashion and want operators of these establishments to understand that there are no workarounds in order to break the law or justify illegal actions. The law is clear and we are here to enforce it," Major Woods added.